Vance talks to LYC Trustee George

LYC MEMBER VANCE WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LYC’S TRUSTEES – SO HE ASKED THEM!

“Greetings LYC, it’s Vance here with another trustee interview! It has been a wonderful experience speaking to various members of the board and this month I reached out to George Wills.”

VANCE: Starting with the usual challenge, can you tell me what being a trustee of LYC means for you in just seven words?

GEORGE: Supporting widening participation in choral music.

VANCE: What were your music lessons like growing up? Were your family musicians too?

GEORGE: My parents weren’t into music at all which meant they were very keen for my siblings and I to learn instruments. Music is important because it adds so much to a person’s development. I started with piano but like many others, I didn’t practice enough. I certainly wasn’t going to become the next Rachmaninoff. I enjoyed playing the cornet which allowed me to perform in ensembles but it was only when I started voice lessons that something clicked. I went to an all boy’s school where singing was something most students hated but I loved it’.

VANCE: Using peers as guidance can be great but always do what you love most regardless of what others think. After all, you are living for yourself! Do you have a piece you wish you could have written yourself or been the first to perform?

GEORGE: Eric Whitacre’s ‘A Boy and a Girl’; it’s beautifully written and expressive.

VANCE: Could you share a blooper that you’ve had during a concert? 

GEORGE: I’ve always found bringing the orchestra and opera singers together for a joint rehearsal difficult. A moment that sticks out was when we decided to put on a quick opera, we learnt the pieces and performed it the following day. I didn’t have my part down for a trio and just had to get on with it.

VANCE: I had a similar incident where I had to step in to perform ‘Linden Lea’. I mostly had it until the last section. How did you go from performing music to becoming a trustee for LYC? 

GEORGE: A colleague I work with could no longer be a trustee and suggested that I go for the role. I jumped at the chance. Choirs, quite rightly, expect weekly commitment which I can’t do. Being a trustee allows me to still be involved with music without facing that setback.

VANCE: What does work-life balance mean to you? 

GEORGE: It’s taken me a really long time to practice active recovery for work-life balance. You should be productive when you’re not working in order to completely detach yourself from your job. It can be instinctive to do nothing the whole weekend but I find that to be unhelpful.

VANCE: What advice would you give to your younger self about life in general?

GEORGE: You have time in your early stages to explore the world and different career paths. Don’t rush into Uni if you’re not sure what you want to pursue. I went through an intense route to finding my job and wish I hadn’t. I love my job but I could have always done something else before working. It’s better to have life experiences behind you.

VANCE: Looks like a gap-year or two is a very viable option! Can you clarify your role as a trustee any further? 

GEORGE: I’ve been a trustee for 3 years. We each bring something different to the table. I mainly deal with safeguarding and pastoral care. I love seeing our procedures improve and seeing our members grow throughout the years.

VANCE: Are you still in touch with anyone you used to sing with? 

GEORGE: Definitely. I think some of the friends I know through music are my closest. It’s just a more personal experience. You spend so much time with them during rehearsals and it’s an activity that leaves you exposed. Singing in front of people isn’t easy yet it pays off by giving you friends for life. 

VANCE: Cue ‘You got a friend in me’.

“Alrighty, that’s all I have to share with you today. We can all take ourselves too seriously on occasion but fun exists for a reason. Don’t rush your way through life otherwise you won’t enjoy living. Be sure to cherish your friends, stretch your legs over the weekend and enjoy the sun. Until next time…”

VANCE

GEORGE

  • LYC Trustee
  • Home borough: Lambeth
  • Years with LYC: 3

VANCE

  • LYC Member
  • Home borough: Croydon
  • Years with LYC: 6
UNLOCKING YOUNG PEOPLE’S POTENTIAL THROUGH THE POWER OF CHORAL SINGING

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