Wednesday 6th November, 2019


“Music should be for everyone. Every person in this country should have access to music education and by donating to AYO we hope to be doing our bit to make this possible.”

How can we ensure that every eligible young musician can pursue their love of music and participate in AYO programs regardless of their financial or geographical situation? The answer is AYO’s Financial Assistance program, made possible through the generosity of our donors.

Actuarial Consultant, Francis Beens and AYO alumna, Samantha Boston have chosen to donate to AYO Scholarships over the past several years. We spoke to the pair to find out what inspires them to support young musicians.

What role does music play in your lives?

Music is an integral part of our family’s everyday life. For Sam music is stimulation and passion; while being a stay at home mum to four children is rewarding it can, believe it or not, be mundane at times.  So playing the violin and teaching music is something Sam is very passionate about. For Francis, music is intriguing and relaxing. 

We have four relatively young children, and while they often prefer to listen to Taylor Swift or songs from Barbie movies, they enjoy going to classical concerts (the eldest two came along to an AYO Chamber Players concert as part of the Musica Viva Festival earlier this year). The children especially love playing music with other people, and hopefully they will have that opportunity with AYO programs in years to come.

What role do you think AYO plays in the Australian music scene?

AYO offers musicians a breadth of learning and performance opportunities. It also offers audiences the opportunity to listen to our musicians. We went along to the AYO Homecoming Concert following the international tour, and we were reminded just what an exceptional orchestra the AYO is.

What made you choose to donate to AYO Scholarships?

Music should be for everyone. Every person in this country should have access to music education and by donating to AYO we hope to be doing our bit to make this possible. When we were a bit younger Sam played in (and Francis listened to) various AYO programs, both Music Camp and AYO seasons, so we have firsthand experience of the fabulous opportunities that AYO provides.  Furthermore, AYO is an integral training ground for orchestral musicians in this country and as music and the arts are a vital element of human society, it’s important that all Australians do what they can to support the arts. AYO provides amazing opportunities for both performers and to a wide variety of audiences, and we want to be a part of that.

What impact do you hope to see as a result of your donation?

AYO is an institution of the Australian music scene, and many fine musicians have been participating in AYO programs for decades.  If our support helps to give musicians the opportunity to learn and perform, and to give audiences the opportunity to hear those musicians play, we will be happy.

If you are attending an AYO program in 2020, discover more about AYO’s Financial Assistance program

If you’re interested in supporting AYO, find out more about how to donate to AYO Scholarships.