Elena gains a place in the National Youth Orchestra


The NYO (National Youth Orchestra) is a prestigious orchestra that includes talented musicians from all over Great Britain. Musicians up to the age of 18 audition from all backgrounds, such as the Menuhin music school and Purcell School, among others. 

My audition process started with writing an essay-style piece on why I wanted to join the NYO, my past experiences, and what I could give as an individual to the orchestra. After that, I needed to submit a video entry of me playing two musical excerpts chosen by the adjudication panel. I had a few weeks to prepare for the recording, and this was the first formal round. For the final round, I went to London to the Guildhall School of Music for a whole day workshop. For the workshop, we played orchestral excerpts in small groups for the judges. We had prepared these excerpts and took turns in leading the group. This tested our flexibility for changing certain roles in an orchestra (leading, adapting etc). We also did improvisational workshops in a large group. Finally, we had to adapt a piece we learnt by ear and arrange it in a creative way. That was definitely my favourite part! During the day, I had to do a solo audition. This required me to play two contrasting pieces to show dexterity and musicianship skills. I chose to play Nigun by Bloch and Danse Espagnole by Manuel de Falla. In the solo audition, I also had to perform the orchestral excerpts by myself, and follow their requests for changing it. 

I was very surprised to find out I got in, as the standard is extremely high, but I am so looking forward to all the courses and concerts ahead and the memories I will make.

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