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National Youth Orchestra success for Hannah

IMG_0123We are thrilled to announce that following a rigorous selection process Hannah in Year 12 has been chosen to play viola in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. The orchestra consists of approximately 160 players with around 18 violas, so to be selected as one of the top viola players in the country is a tremendous achievement. 

The two-stage selection process, which musicians can only enter if they are of grade 8 standard or above in their chosen instrument, began with Hannah submitting a video showing her playing two contrasting pieces and three musical excerpts from orchestral pieces chosen by the NYO. After successfully getting through the first stage, Hannah was then invited to take part in an in-person day in London at the Guildhall School of Music which consisted of a full day of activities and a formal audition in front of a panel. 

Hannah travelled to London at the start of September for the second stage of the audition process where she started by playing solo pieces followed by a selection of the 6 orchestral excerpts chosen by the panel. She had to play these again in a variety of different ways to see if she was able to adapt and be flexible with her playing. The panel then spoke to Hannah about her musical interests and what drove her passion for playing. The rest of the audition day consisted of discussion groups with alumni and various workshops with NYO tutors exploring what you could do on your instrument including improvisation and sight reading as a group. 

Reflecting on the moment she found out she had been selected for the NYO, Hannah said “I was really excited when I received the email with the good news as I wasn’t expecting to get in on my first-time auditioning. I’m looking forward to meeting like-minded musicians from across the country and playing lots of new and challenging pieces.” 

Hannah will have exciting and unique opportunities to play with the orchestra including three residencies at Christmas, Easter, and in the Summer. They will learn challenging orchestral repertoire to perform at venues across the country including the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall in London, Birmingham Symphony Hall, The Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool and many others. As part of the residencies, they also visit schools across the country and work with younger musicians in workshops and through mentoring as part of NYO's 'Inspire' programme. In total Hannah will be involved in over 40 days of playing and involvement in musical activities for NYO between January and August 2023. 

Mrs. Harrison, Director of Music at Redmaids’ High commended Hannah on this incredible accomplishment saying “We are so proud of Hannah and this amazing achievement. Application to be on the NYOGB is an incredibly competitive process and we are delighted that Hannah’s musical talent has been recognised in this way. We can’t wait to hear and see the amazing performances to come!” 

Hannah is in Year 12 studying Music and wants to go on to study Music after her A Levels. She plays in many ensembles at Redmaids’ High, including Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and The Whitson Quartet, and plays with Bristol Youth Orchestra on Saturday mornings. This is such an exciting opportunity for Hannah, who also played in the orchestra for ‘Chess’ with the National Youth Music Theatre this summer. We wish Hannah the best of luck as she embarks on this incredible adventure with the NYO and can’t wait to hear more as the year progresses. 

To find out more about Music in our curriculum and our extra-curricular music provision, sign up for our next Senior School open morning.

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Date Posted: 11 October, 2022

Articles for: Sixth Form, Senior, Music

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