Tasya Hodges - Cello
Highly educated both musically and academically, Tasya Hodges, is another who says that she has found her true vocation with Escala.
“I am having fun every day with my best friends making music which I love and enjoy. I absolutely couldn’t be happier.”
Her talents saw her into three of the most prestigious education establishments in the country – the Yehudi Menuhin School for musically gifted children, the highly prestigious St Paul’s Girls’ School and then a four year degree at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
But like many gifted young musicians, she also liked contemporary music, didn’t want to join an orchestra and was uncertain about becoming a soloist. She compares Escala to a classical chamber group, only playing a different style of music and combining that with high-octane performances.
Her background is exotic. Her mother is Croatian, her father, English. After spending a few years in Croatia where she started playing the cello, her life was interrupted by war and the family moved to Brussels settling there for two years. However, Tasya’s cello playing suffered and she was sent to board at the Yehudi Menuhin School where she received a scholarship. In her years there, she practiced hard and had the opportunity to perform in famous venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and the Purcell Room.
She remembers the great maestro Yehudi Menuhin well: “His one thing with me was that he would always say that I was terribly impatient and wanted to get things perfect immediately. “He would say ‘relax and enjoy the process of learning’.”
At Guildhall, she won the London Symphony Orchestra String Scheme Award and played with the orchestra, based at the Barbican Centre, for three months.
After her degree, she spent a year in Brazil studying with cellist Gustavo Tavares. Tasya had to learn her fourth language, Portuguese.
She has a particular interest in chamber music and has been a member of the Covent Garden Soloists Ensemble and the Pharos Soloists Ensemble, led by Levon Chilingirian. Her love of contemporary music developed at the Guildhall, particularly when she joined the Heritage Orchestra performing at Jazz festivals in Montreaux and London, recording their album of 2006 in Abbey Road.
After Guildhall, Tasya was hired to play as part of the McFly tour, where she met the other Escala girls in the orchestra. In addition to this, she has been a part of the Take That tour 2007 and played in recording sessions for bands such as The Streets and The Arctic Monkeys.
Although her classical career has taken a turn she couldn't be happier – it has fused her love of contemporary music, the cello and performing.