National Youth Orchestra place for Helena

Salisbury Journal: National Youth Orchestra place for Helena National Youth Orchestra place for Helena

A 14-YEAR-OLD girl from Netheravon has beaten hundreds of the UK’s most talented young musicians to get a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Helena Mackie, who has been playing the oboe for five years, went up against 750 of the brightest young musicians from all over the UK in two rounds of auditions and workshops in front of world-class professional tutors to win a coveted place with the orchestra.

Artistic director and chief executive Sarah Alexander said: “We’re excited to see so many high calibre musicians attend NYO auditions. It’s a tough and rigorous process and inevitably many will be disappointed. Therefore it’s very important to us that it is a positive, motivating experience for every musician taking part.

“This is why we offer a tutor-led group workshop based on instrumental techniques as a key component of the auditions. This is unique to NYO auditions and very well received.”

In total 165 teenage musicians were chosen, 83 returning members from the 2013 orchestra and 77 new recruits.

Helena, a pupil at Marlborough College, said: “I’m really excited to be part of the National Youth Orchestra because it’s just so amazing to be able to play incredible music sitting among teenage musicians who love what they do so much and are so talented at their instrument.”

Helena was a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral until 2012 and featured in the BBC documentary Angelic Voices about the choristers.

She will work with the other 164 musicians at an exceptional level, performing in the UK’s finest concert halls under the world’s leading conductors.

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