catherine-brooks

About

Viola

AYO: 2000-2001
AYO National Music Camp: 1999-2001

Q&A

Question: Tell us about your current work.

Answer I am an employment lawyer, representing employers in all types of personnel issues from hiring to firing. This is great fun, as it means that I get to work with a wide range of organisations (commercial, not-for-profit, large and small enterprises) and people. I can also make a positive impact on individuals’ lives, and can also improve the longevity of a business. I get to be creative – just in a different way.

Question: Is there anything you learnt during AYO programs that you still apply to your work?

Answer The lessons that I learnt through my involvement with AYO have stood me in good stead throughout my career. Firstly, the hours spent practicing the art of playing an instrument helped me to learn about the importance of discipline and persistence in my career as a lawyer. Secondly, the art of playing in an orchestra helped me build my team-work skills in the office. Finally, the importance of having pure artistic joy in your life – whilst the law can get your creative juices flowing, it’s also great to be passionate about music because it can provide escapism and be a passage into another world (even if for just a short time).

Question: What did you find most enjoyable about your time in AYO programs?

Answer Learning how to perfect something. When I got to play for great conductors, and along-side players much more advanced than me, it really lifted my own skills and taught me about the satisfaction you can get from really doing something well and achieving greatness beyond your own expectations.

Question: What is your most vivid memory?

Answer The auditions were pretty scary – another good lesson for my legal career; pressure is okay and can make you perform better.

Question: Of all the music you played at AYO, what was your favourite?

Answer The Mahler symphonies. Even for a ‘too cool for school’ teenager, Mahler has the ability to move the soul like no other. Also loved Shostakovich – great viola parts.