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Working with NYO to provide breakthrough orchestral music experiences

3 years ago


The NYO Inspire initiative

ABRSM is proud to sponsor the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s Inspire initiative.

The philosophy behind NYO Inspire is simple: to give breakthrough experiences of orchestral music to teenagers of all backgrounds, both as musicians and as audience members. Employing the power of peer inspiration and leadership, NYO Inspire offers the highest quality orchestral playing opportunities to those committed teenage musicians who need them most.

NYO Inspire Day

In 2016, NYO Inspire hosted 700 young musicians aged 13-19 in a series of free workshops, residencies and ensembles nationwide. The participants get the opportunity to work closely with NYO musicians, who are teenagers themselves, and tutors.

Deronne from London

Eighteen-year-old flautist Deronne first became interested in music in Year 4 of primary school when he was given the opportunity to learn the violin.

The spark had been lit and there was no turning back! When he moved to secondary school he decided to try out the cello and after a few years passed his Grade 4 exams.

But it was only when Deronne picked up the flute that he instantly knew that he had found his passion, working hard to pass his Grade 8 with distinction. Deronne told his flute teacher that he’d love to play as part of a professional orchestra and she thought that NYO would be the perfect fit to help him progress and achieve his ambitions.

National Youth Orchestra

Third time lucky

Although Deronne was unsuccessful in his first two attempts at auditioning for NYO, he took part in several NYO Inspire events. These helped him improve his playing skills and musicianship, which he then utilised at this third audition. With his newly improved confidence, he was successful next time round.

Deronne says:

“Being in the NYO has helped me challenge myself to higher musical standards.

“One area that I have particularly noticed a big improvement in is my self-confidence, which had previously limited my progression.

“I’ve really enjoyed taking part in the NYO Inspire programmes, and having the opportunity to give valuable skills and advice to young students and seeing the positive impact this has had in their own musical progression.”

Thea from Southampton

Thea’s first memory of music was watching NYO playing at the Proms and being amazed by the intensity of the sound being made.

She was inspired to starting playing the double bass and within five years had achieved Grade 8 with distinction.

Sixteen-year-old Thea feels that there have been many positive results from her being part of NYO and the Inspire Programme.

“NYO Inspire is a wonderful opportunity to share the joy of music making,” she says.

“Playing with other musicians at different stages of their musical journey from all over the country is really exciting.

“It’s particularly rewarding to see young people getting around tricky parts and smiling because they can suddenly play something.

“Making music is one of the best ways of making new friends and meeting interesting people. We are the future of orchestral music!”

National Youth Orchestra

Hugh from Edinburgh

Hugh’s family loves listening to music, but there were no musicians in his household.

That was to change when he started primary school and his music teacher encouraged Hugh and fellow students to take-up musical instruments.

Hugh tried several options before opting for the cello, which he now plays at Grade 8 level.

One of his friends played in the NYO and encouraged him to apply.

Speaking about his experiences of being involved with the NYO, Hugh says:

“Being around so many talented young musicians makes me want to work harder and be more meticulous at practising and playing the cello.

“It also feels great to have the opportunities to give something back to communities and teenagers who haven’t had the same chances as me.

“I’d thoroughly encourage young people to get involved with orchestral music, as it’s lots of fun meeting new people and playing some of the best music out there of all kinds of genres, not just classical.”

National Youth Orchestra

About NYO

NYO describe themselves as 'the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers'. Founded in 1948 to provide orchestral performance opportunities for the brightest and committed musicians between the ages of 13 and 19, the orchestra continually achieves brilliance in performance with young musicians.

Drawing its 164 musicians from every background and part of the UK, NYO comes together three times a year for residential rehearsals, working alongside leading international conductors, tutors, and soloists. Each residency culminates in a high-profile concert tour, including an annual BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

NYO exists to give breakthrough experiences of orchestral music to teenage musicians and audiences of all backgrounds. In order to increase the reach and impact of its activity, NYO has launched NYO Inspire, which targets committed young musicians who lack opportunities to advance their playing.

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