Arlene Macfarlane began playing the trombone at the age of 11 through her local brass band and in 1996, joined the brass department of the RSAMD Junior Academy. She was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland for four years and also the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.
Arlene went on to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama under Kevin Thomson and Lance Green where she graduated with a BMus Degree in Performance with First Class Honors, obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance with Distinction in 2005 and was awarded a Masters in Music with Distinction in 2006.
Throughout Arlene’s academic studies she was the recipient of several awards. In 2002 she won the Governors Recital Prize for Brass, the Professor Charles Leggett Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund in 2004, and in 2005, the Musicians Benevolent Fund Education Award, the Countess Of Munster Musical Trust and the Caird Trust. In 2006, she was awarded the Dewar Arts Award.
Arlene’s professional work includes appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of the Scottish Opera, RTE Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
In addition to her orchestral work, Arlene has appeared with several prestigious chamber groups such as The Golden Section, Paragon Ensemble, Fine Arts Brass and Bones Apart. She is also a founding member of the award wining ensemble Thistle Brass which was formed in 2002.
Arlene was appointed Sub Principle Trombone of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2008 where she spent four years immensely enjoying her work within the Orchestra. Shewas regularly involved in community music projects both for the BBC and independently, shetaught trombone at Cardiff University and the Junior Welsh Collage of Music, and taught privately around the Vale of Glamorgan.
Arlene relocated back to Scotland for her family and now works for South Ayrshire Music Service and continues to enjoy performing as a freelance trombonist.She is also on the staff team for the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and the West of Scotland Schools Orchestra Trust.