One of the paramount achievements of a young musician in the UK is to attain a place in the National Children’s Orchestra. In footballing terms it is the equivalent of playing for England Under-16’s at Wembley, or a dancer appearing on stage at the Royal Ballet. The competition to take one of the limited number of places is fierce and some regions of the UK struggle to get just 1 or 2 musicians accepted.
The school is thus very proud of the fact that we have 4 NCO musicians in our school community. Kate Roadknight Yr 8, Annabel Stevens Yr 9, Erin Vinter Yr 9 (all viola) and Katrina Culshaw Yr 8 (violin) are all in the NCO simultaneously. Kate, Annabel and Erin have successfully gained a place in the Under 14 NCO, also known as the main orchestra. This, sadly, will be their last year in the orchestra. Annabel and Erin have also been leaders of the viola section.
The main orchestra is extremely difficult to get into. The girls make up a quarter of the violas, which we believe, is unheard of. Katrina has been a member of the under 11's & 12's in the 2nd violins. She has successfully gained a position in the Under 13's. The competition for violins is extremely fierce as the standard is very high. For all of the girls to retain their place is a credit to them and is a reward for all of their hard work and talent.
To achieve such excellence requires a lifetime of effort and the dedication of a string of excellent teachers. They all started their string career with Mrs Alison Sutton at Jesse Gray primary school. It was under her tuition that they first gained a place at NCO. As well as the main orchestras, the girls (except Katrina) are also part of the NCO Easterlies region and play each month in Cambridge.
They will face 3 residentials this year, all over the country, and will play together in December in Birmingham. All four girls are members of the Nottingham Youth Orchestra, play in a quartet and play with other local string groups. They are also members of the school string and orchestra groups. Mr Dyer has concerts throughout the year, featuring the talented musicians that the school is lucky enough to have within its community.
If you have never attended we cannot encourage you enough to buy a ticket for the next one, on the 8th February in the School Hall. The standard of musicianship is masterly.
(Many thanks to Mrs Roadknight for supplying information on the girls’ progress)