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The successful RCMJD musicians

Record number of RCMJD musicians join NYO

Friday 14 December 2018

A total of 24 musicians from the Royal College of Music Junior Department have won places in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for 2019, a record number to be taken in one year. Of the successful musicians, nine will join the first violin section and three will become section principals: Lily Harwood will lead the second violins, Dan Brandon will lead the cellos and Brendan Connellan will become co-principal horn.

The other current students joining the NYO for 2019 are: violinists Catherine Abela, Catherine Alsey, Gabriella Bavetta, Neil Dixon, Jamie Frost, Betania Johnny, Alexander Semple, Rachel Stonham, Lottie Swainston and Hieu Wilkinson; violists Emily Fraser, Nadia Soole-Sanchez and Luca Wadham; cellists James Conway, James Dew and Souny Park; clarinettist Iona Salter; bassoonist Aidan Campbell; and horn players Alexander Harris and Alice Knight.

In addition, five RCMJD alumni will join the orchestra and a further nine students were chosen to take part in NYO Inspire. The Inspire scheme provides free opportunities for teenage musicians to take part in in-depth workshops, rehearsals and performances and work closely with NYO musicians and tutors to develop their orchestral playing.

Miranda Francis, Head of Junior Programmes at the RCM, commented: ‘I am thrilled that so many Royal College of Music Junior Department musicians have been selected to join the NYO and NYO Inspire this year. They are all incredibly talented young musicians and I look forward to hearing them perform some thrilling repertoire over the coming year.’

Founded in 1948, the NYO is comprised entirely of teenagers and renowned for its brilliant, high-adrenaline and fresh orchestral performances. It is also known for its profound influence on classical music, with high-profile alumni such as Sir Simon Rattle, Alison Balsom and Judith Weir, as well as ex-NYO members in many leading orchestras and ensembles around the world.

This year's success continues the legacy of RCMJD students taking up prestigious positions in the NYO, with RCMJD alumnae Stephanie Childress, Elodie Chousmer-Howelles and Leora Cohen all having been appointed leader in recent years. 

Find out more about the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the RCM Junior Department.