This week we made the final of five wishes come true as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations this year.

Responding to a nationwide callout, Anne Bowen submitted a special wish for her husband Colin Bowen; a professional musician who has performed with several major orchestras in Scotland and has been a long-standing advocate for music education.

At the age of 45, Colin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s; a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system. Wanting to share their continued love and passion for music, Anne wished for her husband to conduct the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

‘I was absolutely delighted and very humbled when told our wish had been selected. When Colin conducts the Scottish Ballet Orchestra it will be emotional but also a very happy occasion. Colin is so positive about his condition and told his colleagues that Parkinson’s is no more challenging than life itself.’

Anne Bowen, after receiving the news that her wish submission would come true
Louise Hunter, Colin Bowen, and members of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra during a group exercise. Photo by Sally Jubb.

Before the orchestra began their rehearsals for the upcoming world premiere of Christopher Hampson’s The Snow Queen, Dance Health Officer Louise Hunter brought Colin and the musicians together by leading a series of mindfulness exercises and movements from Scottish Ballet's Dance for Parkinson’s programme.

After a rehearsal with Scottish Ballet’s Chief Conductor Jean-Claude Picard, Colin was welcomed to the podium to conduct the 70-piece orchestra.

Colin Bowen conducting the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. Photo by Sally Jubb.

‘It’s been an extraordinary year for Scottish Ballet, and I’m thrilled that we bring our 50th anniversary celebrations to a close with the world premiere of The Snow Queen. Each wish has inspired the company in a way that we didn’t see possible. This journey has shown us the power of art and dance, not only in inspiring people, but in bringing them together.’

CEO / Artistic Director Christopher Hampson

‘For all of us, a trip to the ballet is an exciting visual experience. The orchestra pit isn't even seen by much of the audience, yet the music is as essential to the ballet as the dancers. I'm delighted that Colin is getting this wish to conduct the orchestra for The Snow Queen and I can't wait to see AND HEAR this production.’

Fred MacAulay, champion of the fifth wish