We are continuing our series of getting to know members of the All Souls Orchestra and today we meet Yvonne Lo, a fine violinist!
“Church, music, and orchestra have always played an important part in my life. In the past, church and orchestra happened in parallel, yet through the ASO I’m delighted to find an orchestra in a church – or a church in an orchestra.
Growing up in a Christian family I learned that church is the place where I could find lots of music. As a child I dreaded singing hymns that had more than four verses, the music would always get slower and slower! Nonetheless, I began to learn about the Gospel through Christian songs and eventually started enjoying worshiping both as a member of the church choir and band as well as pianist and organist.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, when I wasn’t attending school, you would find me playing in orchestras having started at the age of 5. I not only thoroughly enjoy it, but have benefitted so much from the experience – learning when to step up and when to take a supporting role, the comradeship, the ‘constructive interference’ of group music-making – it has been tremendous.
Six years ago I then decided to leave my hometown in Hong Kong and move to London for my postgraduate degree. Now, most of my time is spent working tangentially in culture and creativity – conducting research for cultural organisations, funders and policymakers to help them understand the impact of culture and creativity on individuals and the society.
Joining the ASO
I started attending All Souls Church regularly in London and was glad to find that I no longer needed to doze off after the fourth verse of a hymn – thanks to the wonderful music at All Souls! It was here I found out about the All Souls Orchestra. My first ASO experience was an overwhelming one – playing violin at Prom Praise for Schools, where we performed to/with thousands of school children at the Royal Albert Hall. This soon followed by a Prom Praise Austria tour where we were warmly hosted by local communities performing in places such as Muth, Vienna and the Town Hall of Linz.
Three years on I am so grateful that God still invites me to take part in this ministry. I use to struggle to control my nerve playing in front of others – worrying I would lose a point for playing a wrong note, or not living up to other people’s expectations. But now, being fully aware of the ultimate giver of music and creativity, I cherish every opportunity to play as thanksgiving and worship. I love that the ASO has brought me to many different places, bringing the chance to meet and worship with local church members, and not to mention the fellowship and friendships with other musicians in the orchestra.
One of my favourite pieces of music played at Prom Praise is Here I am, Lord by Daniel Schutte, orchestrated by Noël Tredinnick. This simple song speaks so strongly about God’s compassion and love for us, with a heartfelt invitation to respond. It moved me even more strongly as we sang about this God of sea and sky; snow and rain at the beautiful seaside in Whistable.”
Want to experience PROM PRAISE 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall? Tickets are selling fast – don’t miss out – Saturday 5th May 2018 – Tim Hughes / Lucy Grimble / Joanne Lunn plus a special tribute to Tearfund in celebration of their anniversary! Come join us and get your tickets here.