Duke Dobing and Steve Pickett reflect on their time as Trustees

Future Talent - Duke DobingDuke Dobing:

When Katharine Kent invited me to become one of the first Trustees of Future Talent in 2004, I realised that her inspired vision for children and young people whose musical talents lay undiscovered or neglected, provided a marvellous opportunity for me to give something back in return for the wonderful musical education I had received.

I came from a very musical family of modest means, but nonetheless every opportunity lay open and unimpeded by financial constraint  – school music, Royal Academy of Music Saturday School, National Youth Orchestra, university, RAM again as a postgraduate student – all available to young musical talent via local authority and government grants.   This world has long gone, but Future Talent is a beacon of hope, providing much-needed financial and pastoral support for today’s emerging young musicians from modest or low income backgrounds.

I am proud to have played a part in its growth and am very confident that, at the beginning of the second decade of its life, Future Talent could not be in better hands.

Steve Pickett:

Future Talent - Steve Pickett My invitation to join the board at the inception of this wonderful charity came at a very interesting time in my career.  I had just changed direction from being a professional musician to becoming an Education Director of a major UK orchestra, in 2002.

I do not come from a musical background.  Both my parents were non-musical but similar to my friend, Duke Dobing, I had a local government grant to pursue a route into the music profession. It all seemed so straightforward then.  Sadly, those days are gone.

Since being at the Hallé I regularly come across talented young people without a breath of a chance of progressing because they either lack resources or have parents who are unsure where to find support for their musically talented child – ‘What should we do? Help!’.

Fortunately, we now have not only a way to help with the resource side but just as important, a network of mentors and advisers who can help.  What a brilliant model!  I can only say that it has been an honour to play a small part in the Charity’s  early development and I have no doubt that in the future, Future Talent will have an important role to play in keeping the musical life of our country healthy.