It’s not every cold, grey February morning you get a chart-topping, internationally-renowned Classical BRIT winning musician turning up on your doorstep wielding a saxophone, but on Monday 2 February, pupils and teachers at Edinburgh’s Dalry Primary School had the pleasure of Amy Dickson doing just that.
Amy is one of the newest ambassadors of The Prince’s Foundation for Children & The Arts, the UK-wide arts charity which organised the day. One of the nation’s leading arts engagement organisations, The Prince’s Foundation offers some incredible experiences to deprived children from areas of social and economic disadvantage, unlocking the arts for those who need to be inspired by them the most.
Born in Sydney, and now based in London, the superstar saxophonist nipped up to Edinburgh to give the children a taste of the saxophone. Joining Ms Ewen’s music class, she introduced the instrument by playing two songs – including a fast-paced Scottish jig – before speaking about its history, and her own journey to becoming a professional musician. The pupils, of course, had a wonderful range of curious questions in store for her which she expertly fielded.
The children from P6 then had the pleasure of giving an impromptu performance of a Viking Rock song, which they had worked on together, to the rest of the school during lunchtime assembly. With Amy accompanying on sax, it was met with rapturous applause – however, the highlight may well have been the entire assembly then treating Amy to that classic Scottish ode, Oh Ye Cannae Shove Yer Grannie Aff A Bus.
In Amy’s words, “I was thrilled to spend the day at Dalry Primary School, showing the students a little of what the saxophone can do. Watching their faces light up at hearing something new was such a special moment. I loved the children’s reactions to the music, which were absolutely natural and uninhibited.”
Amy joins us on tour at the end of February for Sax Serenade, a programme of equal parts intensity, warmth, desolation and spiritual profundity. Calling at Dundee (Fri 20), Edinburgh (Sat 21), Inverness (Sun 22), Glasgow (Tue 24), London (Thu 26) and Egremont (Fri 27), the evening will pair the distinctive performance styles of both Scottish Ensemble and Amy Dickson for what is destined to be concert to remember.