Carolyn Sparey's Story


Story submitted, August 2012.


Some background information

  1. So that I can compare responses between countries and across generations, please give me the following background information on when and where you went to school.

    Your nationality:

    - British -

    The country in which you went to school:

    - England -

    Your age:

    - 65 -

    The year in which you left school:

    - 1964 -

  2. I also need some information on your formal music education (if you had one), so please give details below of any lessons or qualifications in music that you have taken.  You will have chance to expand on these answers later, so brief details are fine at this stage.

    Years of classroom music in school (e.g. aged 5-14):

    - Nov 17 -

    School exams in music (e.g. O Level, GCSE):

    - O Level-

    Instrumental / vocal lessons (e.g. piano from aged 9 to 15):

    - Piano and violin. -

    Instrumental / vocal exams (e.g. Grade 5 trumpet aged 14):

    - Grade 8 aged 13. -

    Music at college / university (e.g. music degree at York):

    - Royal Academy of Music, London. -

    Other musical study (give details):

    - ARCM hons. -

  3. Please give a brief description of your current involvement in music:

    - Last job was as principal viola with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I now take part in chamber music, and play with Scottish Ballet, the SCO, as well as teaching, and adjudicating at the Scottish Conseratoire. -

  4. Please tell me where you heard about this research project:

    - Through Jo Miller in Stirling. -

Thank you for those details.  The rest of the questionnaire is more open-ended: there are five prompts about home background, school experiences, influential people, highlights and regrets, and you can use those to tell your story in whatever way makes sense to you.

Please answer in as much detail as you feel able to, focusing on those questions which are most relevant to you, and giving specific memories and examples whenever you can.



Life history prompts

  1. What kind of music was going on in your home as a child? How influential do you think this was in your development?

    - Chamber music. It was very influencial. Also, classical music on records. -

  2. What are your memories of school music? (These might include people, activities, opportunities…)

    - Not very good! Mediocre! -

  3. Who has been influential on your musical behaviour at various stages of your life?

    - Teacher at the Royal Academy and also at Manchester College and Alfred Deller, the counter tenor, who I worked with. I also worked with Yehudi Menuhin, who was someone I admired as a young child. -

  4. What have been the highlights of your musical life history so far?

    - Working with Alfred Deller and Yehudi Menuhin, as well as some of the great conductors. Performing "The Rite of Spring" , Beethoven's ninth symphony and the Britten War Requiem --- etc etc etc. Working as principal viola with the Scottish Chamber orchestra. -

  5. Do you have any regrets about missed opportunities in music?

    - No. -

  6. Please add any final comments below on the process of telling your musical life history, or any other details that you feel you've missed out of your account so far.

    - I have also had success as a composer, both of orchestral music and songs, which are being published. -