Two Big Big music events in One Day

On Sunday 22nd June, my last day in Scotland, I dragged a friend along to a Big Big Sing workshop, if you sing regularly with other people, you will know how it lifts your spirits.


It was a great session and everybody there seemed to have a great time. Sadly as I wont be in Glasgow during the Commonwealth games I didn’t audition for the choir 🙁 Can you spot us in the picture ?

The concept is such a great idea that I wanted to share it with you. I know that there are similar projects in many different countries and the first time I came across such a scheme was from one of my Australian blog friends who told me all about Sing Australia. I remembered at the time thinking what a great idea so when the chance came along to get involved right here in Glasgow I jumped at the chance.

The Big Big Sing booklet reminds members that specific benefits of singing include:
• Improved concentration
• Endorphins are released
• Improved breathing and posture
• Increases confidence
• A great way to meet new friends


The Big Big Sing aims to inspire thousands of people across the UK to join in and celebrate the Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow this year, through singing, and to make the soundtrack to the Games. You can learn more at

The Big Big Sing in Glasgow on the 27th July, 2014, will bring together thousands of singers for a day of song and celebration.

Here are a couple copies of the booklets if you are interested in what we got up to a s a group, just click on the pictures to see a larger image.




Later on in the afternoon I went to watch the 10th Scottish International Piano Competition Final. The very first competition was established in 1986 and was won by a teacher at my College called Graeme McNaught.


As my friend Daniel Petrica Ciobanu from Romania had been selected to perform in this years competition I had already watched several of the earlier rounds. Daniel made it to the semi finals along with nine other very talented pianists, selected from a very strong field of 28 competitors from around the world. The semi finalists were :

Mohamed Shams
Beatrice Magnani
Liana Gevgoryan
Daniel Petrica Ciobanu
Jianing Kong
Jonathan Fournel
Dinara Klinton
Ilya Maximov
David Gray
Liana Paniyeva

Daniel Petrica Ciobanu

Each of the four finalists played a concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.  I listened intently, made notes of each performance and how each chosen song made me feel.  From this I selected my four placements and went out to tea as I was catching my train home that same evening.

I was pleasantly impressed with myself when I got the four finalists in the correct order.  My favourite piece was the Brahms played by Jonathan.  The international jury chaired by Aaron Shorr included;  Dimitri Alexeev, Hyoung-Joon Chang, Ian Fountain, Martino Tirimo, Olga Kern, Steve Osborne,  and Wu Ying.

The finalists were :

1st Jonathan Fournel – France
2nd Ilya Maximov – Russia
3rd Jianing Kong – China
4th David Gray – Glasgow/Scotland

The first prize was fabulous including :

The Alexander Stone Memorial Trophy
The Frederick Lamond Gold Medal (gifted by Harry Henderson)
A Bluthner Grand Pianoforte (awarded by the Alfred-Reinhold Stiffung Foundation)
A series of concert engagements with the RNSO (2014-2014 season)
An opportunity to record a CD/DVD with support from the Duet Foundation
And £10,000.

In addition to the above there were prizes awarded to each of the ten semi-finalists.

You can still listen or download the contestants performances from the website 

32 thoughts on “Two Big Big music events in One Day

  1. Not only does it speak much for your musical maturity that you selected those finalists in order, it is also an encouraging reflection on the choosing of order of merit, which some people feel is just a lottery because of subjectivity.

    1. I was a little bit biased to the winner as I really loved the Brahms sonata, so it reminded me that song choice is very important. I was also surprised that Daniel didn’t get in the final because his semi-final performance was fabulous. To match the order of so many influential judges was impressive though 🙂
      Best wishes

  2. What an amazing concept. I can imagine the smiles bouncing off the walls, never mind the sweet sound of music! As for the piano competition. I love listening to the piano, such a beautiful instrument. Years ago, while inter railing in Eastern Europe, I happened upon a piano competition in a large church. Sneaking in, I sat listening as each note danced in my ears. A treat, a real treat!

  3. I would love to go to one of those singing workshops sometime. Those sound like a lot of fun. 🙂
    And yay for the Frenchie winning!

    1. I’d love to meet up with you at one Stephanie. I forgot you had a French parent 😉 were you born there too? One thing studying at a Conservatoire has taught me is the diversity of culture from all around the world, it has certainly widened my horizons.
      Best wishes

      1. We should definitely meet up sometime (singing optional, though that would be fun). 🙂
        And yes, I was born in France. Having lived in 4 different countries though, I feel more international than anything else. Nothing like being a military brat to broaden one’s horizons. 😉

  4. I didn’t know singing had all these benefits, I just liked flexing the golden pipes. I’ve done karaoke a few times…see what happens when someone gives me a microphone? 🙂 Imagine if they put me behind the piano. I would test out every note on the keyboard for sure. Happy Thursday.

      1. I was in a small choir growing up. My mom was 1st soprano when she was in high school, so she taught us to sing from our diaphragm. We’d go through practice tones and the like. It became tougher for me to sing as I got older because my voice became almost baritone and I didn’t know how to sustain my notes consistently. My focus changed to wanting to write songs, at least melodies, and have someone else sing for me lol. Seems like a different life ago now.

  5. I sure have missed a lot from going away for a while and being very busy. But glad I caught up and read these two events. They are wonderful indeed, as you said, two great things in one day. You’re exceptional in predicting the first four placements of the Scottish Piano Competition. Maybe one day you’ll be a juror in it.

    We have an international piano competition too right in our city. It takes place every three years, I’ve sat through quite a few of the previous years’ competitions, and love the finals with the piano concertos. The past winners have been conducting concert tours in Europe as I type. If you’re interested here’s the link.

    Thanks for stopping by Ripple Effects and reading through the posts so carefully. I’ve always enjoyed reading about your views!

    1. Thanks for the link Arti, Pavel’s name keeps popping up all the time recently I read about him in the Telegraph on line I think first. His career must really have taken off, did you see him live?
      I think my judgement may have been beginners luck 🙂
      Best wishes

      1. I’m afraid I missed the finals that time. But you know, back then in 2012, I had not heard of Pavel Kolesnikov. You’re right, he’s everywhere now. And from the info in the website, he will be playing with the London Philharmonic in October. You might have a chance to hear him play. Don’t think he will come back to Calgary but hopefully he will some day. 🙂

  6. Sounds wonderful to sing in a large group like that. I was in a Sweet Adolines’ Chorus for several months and loved it. I just didn’t love the traveling because it fell at the same time as my yearly vacation in Aruba. I do love to sing. I was a lead in the chorus.

    I agree that singing is medicinal to the body and soul. I feel like I am soaring when I sing and when I listen to your CDs.

    Keep singing and have fun all summer? Xo

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