Interview with Jennifer Cleland

We chatted to one of our brilliant Encore ambassadors, Jennifer Cleland, who's currently our musician on the ground at the University of Aberdeen. An accomplished violinist, her busy performing schedule takes her from pit bands to baroque orchestras to free improvisation groups... What was your first musical memory?

My mother used to play piano and when I was a toddler I remember we used to keep the upright piano at the bottom of my room absolutely covered in my cuddly toys. I used to sit on the end of the bed and pretend to be able to play but would never let my mum actually teach me anything!

Best gig ever?

I'd have to say that the concerts I performed in with National Youth Orchestra of Scotland on our tour of China last year!

Why do you play music?

I do it for fun and enjoy the challenges it brings! I really enjoy noticing improvements within my playing and all the social opportunities have been great - I've met some of my closest friends through playing music.

If you could perform with one musician or band from any era, who would it be, and what would you play?

I would love to have been conducted by Leonard Bernstein at some point. Especially playing a piece like The Rite of Spring.

Do you have any performances coming up that we should know about?

I've just finished performing with the Tinderbox Orchestra at the Kelburn Garden Party (1st-4th July), but now I'm looking forward to participating in Captivate Theatre's productions of Les Mis and Oliver in the Edinburgh Fringe during all of August - definitely worth seeing if you're at the Fringe this year!

The Tinderbox Orchestra improvising with Suggesture

Finally, what would be your essential desert island disc?

Nonenity by Aydio.