We continue our exploration into the lives of our current and former orchestra members with an interview with former Manchester Camerata violinist, Maureen Wray.
After training at Chetham's School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, Maureen played for Manchester Camerata from 1989 until 2009. Her last concert was Manchester Camerata's performance at the Proms in 2009, conducted by Douglas Boyd. Since then Maureen has turned her attentions to yoga, training with yoga masters and setting up a successful business, YogaYourself.
When did you become interested in yoga?
A friend suggested it to me ten years ago. I tried it and found it really satisfying. I liked it because it was so simple and calming.
How did you decide to change careers?
I was looking for a new challenge. Something different. Yoga just felt right. There are so many similarities to my music career and training and I was interested in exploring these. Yoga teaching is a performance too and years of musical performance have helped me with my teaching processes.
Could you tell us more about the similarities?
Pulling apart moves and analysing thoughts; Observing and aligning the body and being aware of natural behaviours; Regular application and practice. I approach yoga in exactly the same way as I did the violin and it involves a lot of training on my own in a room.
Do you still play the violin?
I don't play now, I just don't have the urge to play the violin anymore. I am very interested in learning a new instrument one day, from scratch. I'd probably choose the oboe, with the intention of playing with an amateur orchestra at some point. At the moment there just isn't the time, as I am focusing on YogaYourself. One day though!
What's next for you?
I teach yoga classes most days of the week and spend a lot of time training. I have to study with masters to continually improve myself. Over the summer I spent a month in India, working towards being a senior teacher and will be taking further assessments. I've also always had a passion for clothing, as my friends at Camerata will know, and have recently launched a new website selling yoga clothing which I source personally.
Visit Maureen's website, YogaYourself for more details.