Concerts Assistant
Britten Sinfonia

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Pippa was passionate about playing the violin from an early age and was a confident performer at school. Her father's illness led her to re-appraise what she wanted from life and she decided against an Oxbridge education, deciding instead to pursue her love of music. She organises concerts for Britten Sinfonia "...and I just realised that there was more to life than being a musician".

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Check out 11 videos about this career


£28,600
average salary
38
average weekly hours
62%  female  38%  male 

Future employment

Description

Job holders in this unit group manage, organise and coordinate business conferences, exhibitions and similar events.

Qualifications

There are no formal academic entry requirements, although entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades, A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award or equivalent qualifications. Professional qualifications are available and may be required by some employers. Off- and-on-the-job training is available.

Tasks

  • Discusses conference and exhibition requirements with clients and advises on facilities;
  • Develops proposal for the event, and presents proposal to client;
  • Allocates exhibition space to exhibitors;
  • Plans work schedules, assigns tasks, and co-ordinates the activities of designers, crafts persons, technical staff, caterers and other events staff;
  • Liaises closely with venue staff to ensure smooth running of the event;
  • Ensures that Health and Safety and other statutory regulations are met.
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Employment status

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Steven T

Pippa R My name's Pippa R and I'm Concert Assistant with the Britten Sinfonia. It is quite a varied job because every project is very different. We do - we vary from performing with five musicians to thirty-five, sometimes even more than that. I know I'm only getting used to the organisational side of things because I was trained as a violinist, so it's a real eye-opener as to how - how much there is behind the scenes with every concert. I first got interested in music because my parents are very keen amateur musicians, and they used to take me along to concerts, and I think I started nagging my parents to start playing the violin when I was about six. And I don't think they could quite face the trauma of being a violinist, because it's quite - painful. So they put me on piano, which I hated, when I was about six, I really wanted to play the violin and I nagged them and I think they could see that I was so stubborn that I got my own way. So when I was 8 I started the violin and it was very much my choice, which really had an impact on my enjoyment. I guess music was a very big part of my school life. I was in a very small primary school, I was very lucky, it was a very sheltered primary school, and there weren't many who played music and I loved it, so they were very encouraging, they played - made me play on my own in Assembly, which for some reason I enjoyed doing. Maybe probably because they made me do it so much that I got over the - kind of the fear of playing. All through primary school and secondary school I had very very supportive parents, very sheltered upbringing. My Dad - my Dad was a doctor, he was very - very studious, very hard-working, so I had that kind of inspiration when I was growing up, and then he became ill when I was about 11. So I got very angry and very - I was in a very very very pressurised school where fifty percent went to Oxbridge. And then as he got more ill I got angrier with how I guess sheltered everybody else was. And so music was the one thing I could kind of bluff my way through I guess. I think music gave me the - yeah the emotional support and the - obviously my family were grieving, so I got that from friends. Because we were just ten in a department in my year, so we really knew each other inside out, and that's where I think the kind of focus on the music came from. I got very angry with the pressure put on us so young, and I kind of kicked against that and thought no, I don't want to be a part of Academia, I don't want to go to Oxbridge, I don't want to do that. Which I realise now is very spoilt, being in that school - a lot of people would kill to be in that kind of environment, but I kicked against it. And then I went to Music College, and I think the main problem with Music College, with anything that's so focused, is if you didn't make it as a musician, you failed. And I had four years of that - I did four years at music college, got my undergrad, got my Bachelor of Music, and then I found a teacher in Italy, and studied privately, which was the real test. I was working in a pub to make ends meet, getting home about three, four in the morning and then trying to find the motivation to practice, which is probably where it all dwindled. And I just realised there was more to life than being a musician, and I think having that step back from the high pressure, you have to be a musician or you're a failure, put that in perspective. Still a part of me, because I did 15 years intensive playing the violin, a part of me is still - maybe I've made a mistake. But I think the most important thing is that I made the decision at 24, 25, I had to start again technically with my teacher to go back to studying, and I felt it was too late, which I'm now realising now is not true. I know people who are in their early thirties who've gone back to Music College to do an undergrad, so it's never too late, but I don't know - I'm enjoying this for now. I've decided to not be too deciding what I want to do in the future, because you never know how life changes and your priorities change. ENDS

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