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Four win places in prestigious NYO

National Youth Orchestra a great opportunity for teen musicians

Trish Lee

Trish Lee


01635 886663


FOUR young Newbury musicians have just been awarded a place in the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers, the
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. In the players’ own words: “Following extensive rounds of auditions, only164 musicians across the entire country have been selected to play in our national team, and we are delighted to be representing Newbury this year”

THIS year, the orchestra is made up of 164 teenage musicians from across the entire UK, all of whom were born in the 21st century.

Next year they will be performing in three concert tours across the country, playing at Warwick Arts Centre,
Birmingham Symphony Hall, Barbican, Royal Concert Hall Nottingham and Southbank Centre among others. They will also take their unique teenage energy to schools around the country to share their love of music with other young people and give them a breakthrough experience of orchestral music through NYO Inspire projects.

NYO believes in inspiring its teenage members with a sense of personal responsibility for giving world-class performances. That starts with giving them fantastic role models. They say: “Together we’re building the future of orchestral music.”

Rehearsal residencies and NYO Inspire activities generally take place in the major school holidays, after
Christmas, February half-term, before Easter, and at the beginning of the summer break.
At NYO the musicians are surrounded by young people who are passionate about music and eager to play more.
There are plenty of opportunities to play chamber music amid the big rehearsals, whether in informal concerts on residencies or as part of NYO Open activity. They will also have the chance to work with NYO’s teenage composers, helping them learn more about writing for their instrument and bringing their ideas to life.

You need to be between 13 and 18 on September 1, 2020, in order to apply for NYO. You don’t need to have passed Grade 8 to apply, however you need to be of a standard equivalent to that required to pass Grade 8 with
distinction, but you do not have to have taken any exams.

Each year, the NYO bursary scheme helps a number of people take up places at reduced rates, depending on their financial circumstances.

Auditions are free and NYO can also help with travel costs for those who need it.

Alice Knight, 16, French horn:
“This is my second year in NYO and I am joint principal horn of NYO 2020. I’m in Year 12 at The Downs School, Compton and I live in West Ilsley. I’ve been playing for seven years and I’m really looking forward to meeting all the new musicians and playing some amazing

Lottie Swainston, 17, violin:
Lottie lives in Newbury and is in Year 13 at St Bartholomews School.  "I'm lottie, I've been playing violin for 10 years. This is my 4th year in the orchestra and what I'm most looking forward to is doing Beethoven 9 with Marin Alsop."

Emily Ambrose, 15, bassoon:
“I am in Year 11 at Marlborough College and live in Heath End. I’ve been playing bassoon for around seven years and am very excited to have been offered a place in NYO 2020. I am really looking forward to meeting the rest of the orchestra and to
sharing some brilliant music with audiences all over the country. I am also looking forward to helping to deliver the Inspire programme.”

Matthew Prior, 15, French horn:
Matthew is in Year 11 at St Bartholomew’s School and has played horn for five years. He is delighted to have been offered a place in the National Youth Orchestra horn section this year and is looking forward to developing new skills and meeting lots of different musicians.

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