Steve Vick International Renews Sponsorship of Wiltshire Music Centre

October 23, 2023

Steve Vick International Renews Sponsorship of Wiltshire Music Centre, Strengthening Commitment to Local Community and Young Musical Talent Steve Vick International (SVI), a leading innovator in pipeline engineering solutions, is thrilled to announce the renewal of their sponsorship agreement with the Wiltshire Music Centre (WMC). This renewed commitment reflects SVI’s dedication to supporting the local community and nurturing the next generation of musical talent.

Since January 2020, SVI has proudly sponsored Wiltshire Music Centre, and they are continuing their commitment as major sponsors of the West of England Youth Orchestra and the Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra. SVI, headquartered in Bradford on Avon, is deeply rooted in its local community, and has a strong desire to give back through charitable support.

Steve Vick, Chairman of Steve Vick International, expressed his enthusiasm for the sponsorship renewal: “We’re very excited to continue supporting the West of England Youth Orchestra and the Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra. Their exceptional musicianship has consistently impressed me. Our connection with Bradford on Avon is significant to us, and we’re dedicated to being an integral part of the community. We are particularly passionate about fostering young talent and helping them achieve their full potential.”

James Slater, Artistic Director of Wiltshire Music Centre, echoed Steve Vick’s sentiments: “We are extremely grateful to Steve Vick International for their support. Partnerships like this are crucial to our mission of providing high-quality opportunities for music engagement at the highest level.”

Wiltshire Music Centre is not only a cultural gem but also a vital institution that plays a pivotal role in the community. With over 150 concerts each year and the participation of over 1,000 professional, community, and young musicians, the Centre’s purpose-built auditorium is celebrated for having “the finest acoustic outside London” (Sean Rafferty, BBC).

As part of their renewed sponsorship, Steve Vick International plans to be actively engaged in the local cultural scene by offering their staff opportunities to attend concerts throughout the year. This involvement underscores their commitment to fostering a vibrant arts and music culture within Bradford on Avon and its surroundings.

To celebrate the renewal of their sponsorship, SVI recently conducted an exclusive interview with Gabriel Vick, the talented son of Steve Vick, who currently holds the leading role in “Mrs. Doubtfire” in the West End. This interview highlighted the Vick family’s deep-rooted love for music and theatre, which has been a driving force behind their continued support of Wiltshire Music Centre.

Can you share with us how your journey into the world of theatre and music began? What sparked your interest in this field?

My parents were always creators of theatre, and my earliest memory is when they were part of a theatre company that staged “A Christmas Carol” at the Merlin Theatre in Frome. I was 4 and played “Ignorance”. I learned piano at 8 years old and really took to it. I loved playing Oliver at the age of 10 at my local prep school and then auditioned to be a chorister at Wells Cathedral School and was offered a scholarship to sing in the cathedral choir. I learnt so much about how to read and interpret music. I took up trumpet too.

Growing up in a family where music and the arts are a prominent part of life, how did that influence your passion for music and theatre?

My parents had taken two shows (and us!) to the Edinburgh festival in 1989 and 1990. They were a regular part of the local village theatre production company and I was part of many productions directed by my mother in the late 90’s. They had weekly tickets to the theatre Royal Bath on Thursday nights but didn’t always want to see what was on and would let me go instead. So, in my teens I watched so many musicals and this attracted me to musical theatre.

Were there any specific artists or mentors who played a significant role in inspiring and shaping your career in the performing arts?

Paul Denegri at Wells Cathedral school was a real pupil’s favourite; he taught brass but was more of an agony aunt. My choir master Anthony Crossland (who now lives in Bradford on Avon) was someone I looked up to along with the support of Andrew Nethsingha (now organist of Westminster Abbey). Roland Robertson was a fantastic director of music at Prior Park allowing pupils to take centre stage whilst being an excellent musician providing many opportunities for us to play and sing. Acting was always more of an instinct to me and so I can’t really single out a mentor or artist. I did train at the Royal Academy of music and Mary Hammond and Karen Rabinowitz were champions of mine.

You’re currently playing the leading role in “Mrs. Doubtfire” at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London. Can you tell us about your experience preparing for and performing in such a beloved production?

I auditioned for Mrs Doubtfire by stringing together 10-12 impressions with jokes to make the panel laugh. These were not in the script, but I knew they were looking for playful manic improvisation and a love of character voices. I got hold of all the script and song material as early as I could even though I didn’t even have an audition yet. All 5 auditions were done in a week as the American team were limited by covid. I had a feeling this was the role for me but I really had to hustle for it!

The character is a beloved gift which I am careful to treat with respect so that the audience get who they came to see. However, over the course of the play they soon feel comfortable with my interpretation, and we generate so much joy in that theatre together.

Now that I am some months into a year-long run of the show I treat myself like an athlete. There are 28 costume changes, tap dancing, break dancing, countless impressions and singing which is a huge demand on my body physically and mentally. I monitor everything I eat, my weight, water consumption, supplements, I have vocal massages, vocal training, physio, strength training and I sleep long and well. It is safe to say I work very hard to be in peak condition for each and every audience.

Gabriel Vick as Mrs Doubtfire in the West End

Gabriel Vick as Mrs Doubtfire in the West End

What advice would you offer to aspiring young musicians and actors who are just starting their journey in the world of performing arts?

Try everything and be prepared to risk looking silly. A diversity of playing experiences helps you hone in on what you are good at and some things may surprise you. Be strong, be patient and work hard.

Your father, Steve Vick, is sponsoring the West of England Youth Orchestra at the Wiltshire Music Centre. What does it mean to you to see his passion for music and arts support the next generation of talent?

I am so glad that my father is supporting music for the west country youth; he has certainly seen it benefit me. He has cried many times at my singing in Wells cathedral to now on the west end stage! Dad took up saxophone about 20 years ago and loves to play in an orchestra himself. There is a joy to simply making music together, young, and old.

Could you share a little about the impact organisations like the West of England Youth Orchestra and the Wiltshire Music Centre have on fostering young talent and the importance of their work?

In the late 1990’s I benefitted from an orchestra called “Bath Baroque” in which I played natural trumpet. Sadly, it ran out of funding but I learnt so much and was enriched by meeting a wider community of musicians. I expanded my repertoire and learnt musicianship skills but also the practical personal responsibility that it takes to commit to an orchestra. The music festivals were also an important part of our calendar taking place at venues just like Wiltshire Music Centre.

As a performer deeply connected to both music and theatre, do you believe there are valuable lessons or experiences that young musicians and actors can learn from each other?

I found in my youth that my peers were inspirational. I took up trumpet because my friend encouraged me to do so. It also helped foster friendships and sharing of musical influences. I believe through my experiences I have learnt that everything in life is a collaboration; we are all standing on the shoulders of giants.

Finally, what can the audience expect from your performance in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and do you have any upcoming projects or aspirations you’d like to share?

Mrs Doubtfire is the role all my skills culminate in. It truly is a gift and one that I give everything to; I am on stage practically the whole time, so you see a virtuosic performance of singing, dancing, comedy, impressions and even a new musical instrument! I am happy to say I have no immediate projects beyond this as I am living in this fantastic moment of my career.

Steve Vick International’s commitment to Wiltshire Music Centre demonstrates their dedication to building a brighter future for musical talent in the region and ensuring that the arts continue to thrive. With this renewed sponsorship, SVI and WMC look forward to inspiring and nurturing the creativity of young musicians, enabling them to reach new heights.

SVI at Wiltshire Music Centre for their Business Update Meeting

SVI at Wiltshire Music Centre for their Business Update Meeting

Staff from SVI take part in a Drumming Workshop at the Wiltshire Music Centre