Mandy Smith joined the orchestra in the early days as a
tenor player. She used to throw herself enthusiastically
into all things musical. One day she announced that she
was taking grade five ABRSM exams; jazz and classical in
the same session without having done any previous exams.
Of course she passed both.
Mandy also joined as many other local bands as she could
fit into a week. She was also the founder member, with
Roy Allan, of Tattie Sax - a quartet formed from orchestra
members. When Roy died, she bought his baritone and
played that thereafter.
We miss her as a friend and we miss her humorous
optimism. She was cheerfully helpful and encouraging to
other players and would always counter their anxieties with
her mantra ”It’ll be fine!”
Richard composed a piece in Mandy’s memory,
‘Walking with Mandy’ (It’ll be fine!) which the orchestra
premiered at Richard’s retirement concert in 2022.
Roy Allan was the first adult member of the original
ASO when it was a Youth Music Initiative project.
He was one of our great eccentrics.
In earlier times he would travel long distances from
Aberdeenshire on his motorbike for saxophone playing
opportunities. He met Richard Ingham at one of Richard’s
summer saxophone courses at Leeds College of Music.
They struck up a friendship which lasted until Roy’s death.
Roy travelled down every week in all weathers to the
University of St. Andrews where Richard was a professor,
to take part in Saxophone Ensemble rehearsals.
We remember him for his humorous heckling of Richard at
rehearsals, greeting one of Richard’s new compositions
with, “yeah, decidedly average, Richard!”
Roy was hugely enthusiastic in his efforts to help the
youngsters develop their music careers. He was responsible
for suggesting performers and composers for the
Sound Festival ‘Sax Fest’ event in 2008. He’d heard a new
concerto composed by, the then 18 year old, Charlotte
Harding and he persuaded Justin Brook through the festival,
to commission her for a new piece. This worked a treat.
Charlotte is now a very successful composer.
Richard composed a short piece in Roy’s memory:
Tune for Big Roy