We were delighted to hear from former West of England Youth Orchestra musician, Will Kieser, about life since #WEYO and his new role with grant-giving charity, 'Future Talent', which provides support for gifted young musicians from low-income backgrounds across the UK.

When were you a member of the West of England Youth Orchestra (WEYO), and what was your experience like?

I started playing back in 2014 when the orchestra was still the Wiltshire and Swindon Youth Orchestra and continued playing until the 2019 summer course. I can still remember watching one lunch break in awe as Alexandra Dariescu practiced sections of Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, her fingers flying across the keyboard. However, my fondest memories will always be playing as part of the horn section. Feeling the sheer emotion in the music wash over me in Brahms’ 4th symphony or preparing to stand up alongside 7 other horn players and blast out the end of Mahler’s 1st symphony were truly incredible, and I still get shivers down my spine anytime I hear those pieces.

Alongside the music, almost every rehearsal made me laugh. Tim calling out “quack it like a duck!” to help with a tricky rhythm or conducting with a stick of celery provided by the trombones are particular favourites. I made life-long friends at WEYO and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.


Did you continue your musical training after WEYO? And if so, where?

Whilst still playing with WEYO I started studying Music and German at Bristol University alongside several ex-WEYO members. I played in a wide range of ensembles and even tried out conducting. For every rehearsal I led at University I made sure that I remembered how enjoyable WEYO rehearsals had been and tried to make my own rehearsals as fun.


Where has your passion for music taken you in your career?

I am only just starting out with my career, but I have already spent time working as a Front of House manager for the Iford Opera festival and recently completed an internship with the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany. The next step is as a graduate music assistant at Worksop College, where I intend to try and imbue all the pupils with the same passion for music that WEYO gave me. I have also just started volunteering for the charity Future Talent as a Relationships Assistant


Tell us a bit more about Future Talent and why you are passionate about the work the charity does.

Future Talent is a wonderful charity that provides financial support and development opportunities for gifted young musicians of all musical backgrounds from low-income families. They run workshops and masterclasses, as well as providing one-to-one mentoring sessions with musicians like Sir James Galway, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, or Guy Johnston. Financial support is provided alongside the development opportunities and can be used to for any musical costs, such as instrument or sheet music costs, tech or equipment purchase, lessons, auditions, or exam fees. The charity aims to break down barriers, make a career in music an equal reality for everyone, and improve young lives through the power of music. There is also a strong belief in nurturing every musician in the Future Talent family. We look out for all the musicians on the good and the bad days, making sure that they are not just supported in their musical development, but also their personal development. The work of the charity resonates strongly with my own beliefs and I am incredibly excited to work alongside them and help inspire the next generation of musicians.

Auditions for next years’ Future Talent programmes are now open until the 1st of July. Find out more at www.futuretalent.org

I heartily recommend for people to apply and it would be wonderful to have more musicians from the South West in the Future Talent family.
Will Kieser

Get in Touch

For more information about Future Talent and applying for support, please contact Will at will@futuretalent.org