Eleanor Figures

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!

I am just your average fun, energetic and kind-hearted mid-20s women who jumps on the chance to do anything and everything! I love a challenge and I am up for almost anything.

I am currently studying a PGDE to be a primary school teacher, and teach music privately. I am in the midst of setting up music groups for children and adults alike, as I firmly believe that music should be accessible for all – regardless of background.

I love spending time with friends and family, as well as attending orchestras and music groups, whilst spending a lot of my time looking at décor (sign of getting older!). I also work as a support worker and specialise in working with people who have disabilities such as autism and down syndrome.

P.S. My party trick is that I was born with 12 toes (six on each foot) but two were removed when I was wee, so I now have normal feet but massive scars! I am also a twin.

How did you first get into music?

I always wanted to play the Violin, and in primary 4 we were offered strings or brass. The strings were full, so I got the chance to play brass. The instrument chose me, so to speak, as we had to buzz through mouthpieces and that determined what instrument we played.

Originally, I started playing on a tenor horn, but my teacher soon realised this was a mistake and changed me to the French horn! I have never looked back.

What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?

 I wasn’t really good at much during my time at school, apart from music. It was a community. A family. Something that I was good at. It allowed me to travel and connect with so many different people whom I never would have had the chance otherwise, and is something I very much enjoy doing.

I love classical music, esp. Romantic music where the horns get all the big tunes! I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world. It has built up my confidence, given my opportunities I could only dream of and is just such an amazing thing!

What has been your musical highlight so far?

Playing with Nevis has to be the start of it! Working in the community and teaching in a primary school, I strongly believe music should be accessible to all. Playing with Nevis, trying to make this dream a reality is something I really want to continue doing and bringing music to everyone.

I have also loved playing with the national youth orchestras, as well as performing concertos with amateur orchestras such as Bathgate concert orchestra and Glasgow Symphony Orchestra. I am always looking at opportunities to try different things and develop my playing.

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

When I studied music at Napier, I did a lot of research into Shostakovich looking at his 7th symphony. During my time at university, I also playing with USSO and played his 5th and 10th symphony. He is a character that fascinates me as his background and story are really interesting, and I love to try and understand more about the reasons behind his music.

I love lots of romantic composers such as Strauss and Rachmaninov because they write so well for the horn, and their music is so rich and full of emotion and colour.

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

First and foremost, I hope that Nevis will continue to do what they are doing! I think it is a great thing, reaching out to people who may not get a chance to hear music otherwise. It is also accessible to all, which I believe is vital.

Having the chance to play in public areas, schools, prisons, and reach out to each and every individual is something so special which I believe Nevis creates in every single performance they do. It has been one of the best things I have done, working with a group in the community, and I hope to continue to be a part of this fantastic ensemble!