The conductor Ross Gunning has responded to our earlier report that young members of his unpaid Glasgow Philharmonia were left to sleep on the floor while performing in Northampton. He writes to Slipped Disc:
I respond on behalf of the Glasgow Philharmonia Orchestra, who were awarded Charity Status on the 3rd October 2017 – SC047789
The Orchestra, founded in 2013 by myself has the ethos of giving young aspiring musicians opportunities at no cost to themselves and this still remains the case. Since 2016, any event produced by the Orchestra themselves such as Movies to Musicals and Glasgow Philharmonia Does Variety has ensured that orchestra members are being paid.
The article misrepresents the facts.
Scott Holden, head of the Chellington Centre said:
“I don’t recognise the comments you have shared with me today as that of the Chellington Centre! I do not know why someone would say that
The entire building was refurbished with a 2005 extension is under floor heated and temperature controlled and I see from our records it was 20.5 degrees Celsius the evening of your arrival.
It is double glazed throughout.
There are no damp areas whatsoever in the building.
As I understand it 30 guests slept in beds, six in custom-designed sofa beds (see picture attached) in the 2016 refurbished chancel and three in the Ibbett Room, this is fully insulated both floor, glass and ceiling (see picture attached of this room, in day use without the blinds in use)
The fold-out Futon Mattresses are certified to Crib 5 (Hostel standard)
Full linen, a 10.5 tog duvet and pillows were provided (all purchased in September 2017) for all of your x39 guests.
Additional futon padded x 5 mats were available to double-up but I do not think they would have been needed as it would be like sleeping on two mattresses!
There are seven contemporary tiled toilets and 5 showers all were available for your group to use with regulated free hot water at 44.5 degrees Celsius, considered a comfortable temperature and to prevent scalding.”
Members of the orchestra themselves have commented.
David, Horn Player
“The Glasgow Philharmonia orchestra is a wonderful orchestra run by a very hardworking and talented conductor. Through playing in the orchestra I have been given many opportunities to play with many great musicians and get through repertoire that for people at the same age as me would not have gotten through. The atmosphere at rehearsals is always friendly but we are worked hard to deliver high level concerts. The accommodation, although small provided everything that we needed for the weekend (kitchen, beds/bedding and was dry)”
“The accomodation we were provided with was fantastic, beds and bedding were provided and allowed for 2 excellent night’s sleep. Couldn’t recommend the chellington centre any more highly”
Megan, Flute Player
“We slept at a hostel that was a converted church – each dorm had about four beds with sheets and duvets – the accommodation was basic but had all the necessities”
Matt, Trombone player
“I slept comfortably in a shared dorm in a single bed with linens, duvets pillows etc, which was warm and Completely dry”
Samantha, Trombone Player
“We slept in a church in beds, and had a great weekend performing with amazing musicians.”
Jack, Flute Player
“We were accommodated in the Chellington Centre with actual beds, a kitchen, heating and appropriate facilities
This article is completely misleading, during the festival, we were accommodated in the Chellington Centre with beds, heating and more than adequate facilities. The Glasgow Philharmonia provides people with a FREE performing platform, something that any other orchestra / band I have played with does not provide. I have in fact been paid by this orchestra to perform to filled concert halls. Although comprised of a large number of aspiring young musicians, the orchestra is also inclusive of older, experienced musicians”
Andreas, Horn player
“The things stated there are completely false”
“The Malcolm Arnold Festival was a very good experience. We stayed in a youth centre with proper bedding and such on beds. The centre was quite nice as a place. It was a very good opportunity and I am pleased to have taken part in it.”
Chris, Trombone player
“The Malcom Arnold weekend was incredible. Being my first time on residential with the orchestra, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but besides playing an amazing repertoire of music, we got to live under the same roof, in an amazing residential centre we had to ourselves. Which really helped the orchestra get to know each other more. We had such a blast hanging out and would definitely do it again.”
Hannah, Clarinet Player
“The church was converted into a hostel type accommodation and shared rooms with separate beds were provided for each player”
Ben, Horn Player:
“As a member of the orchestra I can confirm that this article is completely unfounded, there was no damp, nobody slept on the floor. Bedding and beds were provided for all by the Chellington Centre and they would be contactable for confirmation. Ross is a fantastic, supportive conductor coming under unnecessary fire, initiated by players who are upset about not becoming a part of the orchestra through unprofessional attitudes or substandard musical ability.”
Ross Gunning, Conductor of Glasgow Philharmonia says:
“I want to thank the Chellington Centre for their great hospitality. We arrived at the accommodation on Friday 13th October and all the linen, beds, pillows, and even tea, coffee and hot water were ready for our arrival. Scott looked after us very well.
The Malcolm Arnold Festival were very keen for the orchestra to play at their festival, but with their restricted budget, all travel, accommodation and subsistence costs were met. Thanks to the Malcolm Arnold Festival, the Chellington Centre, Sams Travel, the Orchestra, we were able to give young players an opportunity to play at this prestigious festival in front of Malcolm Arnolds Family.
I want to thank the musicians for their support, enthusiasm and musicality that they bring to every performance. I look forward to continuing to work with them as more exciting opportunities arise.”