Young musicians have the experience of a lifetime playing at the Royal Albert Hall


Thirty young musicians from North Lincolnshire played to a worldwide audience when they took a curtain call with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The students from the North Lincolnshire Music Support Service Centre, based at Frederick Gough School in Bottesford, were left starry-eyed after making their debut at the BBC Proms before more than 4,000 fans on Sunday (July 23).

For many of the 30 musicians it was their first trip to the capital.

The opportunity of a lifetime came after the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra invited the 30, aged between 10 and 19, to join in two performances.

Flautist Kate Gralton, 15, summed up the group’s feelings when she said: “It was only after we got off the stage we thought ‘Did that really happen?’

“We were all so nervous when we did it the first time but by the time we got to the second performance, we’d got used to it and really enjoyed it.”

Sally Russell, the music support service manager, said: “We had the most incredible time. The experience is one that will stay with the young musicians for a lifetime.

“The feeling of pure elation when we came off the stage after the first performance was tangible in the room. The children were buzzing.”

The BBC, which broadcast the second performance live on Radio 3, commissioned internationally-renowned music educationalist Paul Griffiths to help deliver the students’ Proms debut.

The four-minute piece was based on the music of the late Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar.

The North Lincolnshire musicians, including three pairs of siblings, joined the show which also included music by Beethoven, Copland, Elgar, Mozart and Respighi.

Afterwards, violinist Noah Carter, 14, said: “It was an amazing experience to become part of the long history of the BBC Proms.

“We met so many wonderful people who have helped us and taught us so many new things.”

One of the youngest-ever players at the Royal Albert Hall, 11-year-old violinist Isla Caborn said: “I really enjoyed the interview with the BBC for the Proms website.

“It was great fun and a good experience, having microphones, cameras and green screens on us.”

It is hoped North Lincolnshire’s newest stars will perform their Ravi Shankar work before a home audience in November, when the Royal Philharmonic appears at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe.

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