AYO National Music Camp: 1974-78
At Melbourne Grammar, students said they always knew when they were passing Dr Tim Scott’s room because they could hear Classic FM music coming out the door. AYO alumnus and donor Tim Scott recently retired after 31 years at Melbourne Grammar, the last 14 as Director of Students and Head of Literature. ‘I love teaching. Young people are so open and ready to grasp new ideas with enthusiasm.’ Having directed many musicals and Shakespeare plays, Tim is about to direct adults with the Heidelberg Theatre Company.
AYO National Music Camp was central to Tim’s life for many years. His mother was friends with Ruth Alexander, one of AYO’s founders, and after numerous seasons with AYO Tim returned to work for five years as the librarian. ‘I was apparently the most feared person at Camp; it was even said that I had “scary eyes”. It made everyone return their folders on time, though.’ Tim remembers the 1979 China Tour as one of his AYO highlights. ‘It was not long after the cultural revolution. In Nanking (now Nanjing) we joined a local orchestra and it was very special because the musicians were so excited about finally being allowed to play Western music. We played to massive halls with thousands of audience members; John Hopkins was a showman and in one concert we played three encores with the audience clapping along. As an early cultural exchange everything was curious and strange for us and vice versa.’
Tim has maintained a lifelong admiration for what AYO does. ‘It’s so important to sustain AYO into the future. As a young man, what really stayed with me was all the musicians who give so generously of their expertise, wisdom and time to nurture the players of the future. It’s hard to match that.’