European dream for Ayrshire musician

Fiona Kennedy (second from left) with Dalmellington Brass Band members.
Fiona Kennedy (second from left) with Dalmellington Brass Band members.

Ayrshire’s Fiona Kennedy is still on cloud nine as she reflects on her performance at this year’s European Brass Band Championships in Ostend, Belgium.

Fiona, 20, from Dalmellington, was selected to represent Scotland in the European Youth Brass Band by the Scottish Brass Band Association.

The Ayrshire College student had to take time from her HNC Music course to take part in the Grand Gala Concert in April alongside performers from across Europe, including fellow Scots Kyle McCorquodale and Duncan McLuskie.

Fiona will return to Ayrshire College next week to study HND Music, and is certain her performance in front of 2,500 people will hold her in good stead for the year ahead.

Fiona said “It genuinely was a once in a lifetime achievement as you can only get selected once for the European Youth Brass Band, so it was a tremendous honour to go to Belgium.

“I didn’t expect to get picked, but I was thrilled when I did. We were in Belgium for 10 days and it was constant concerts. The gala concert in front of 2,500 people was amazing and we also played at the War Memorial Service, which was very emotional.”

Fiona knew the two other Scots in the brass band, but there were another 40 in the band who she did not know.

She said “It was great to meet people from other countries. The European Youth Brass Band is one big band with performers from all over Europe, so I met people from France, Italy, Lithuania, Switzerland, etc. They all spoke English very well and it was great to interact with them.

“I started playing the cornet in primary school and now play in Dalmellington Brass Band. I love studying music at Ayrshire College and I’m looking forward to returning for my HND course. I’ve always been interested in music and the goal for me is to become a music teacher.