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Congratulations to our City of Leeds Youth Music members

In our City of Leeds Youth Music groups, July is often a busy time of tours, residentials, concerts, and of course, celebration of all of our leavers and those who have achieved places in national youth music ensembles! Each group has their own traditions for honouring the hard work and success of their own members. While we have been unable to celebrate and say goodbye as normal this year, it’s still important to us to acknowledge the achievements of the young people we work with.

Here are some of the things the Year 13s will be going on to do next year:

Arghya (Violin, CLYO) – Maths at UCL
Ben (Trombone, CLYO) – Classical Trombone at Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Charlotte (Cello, CLYO) – Music at Durham University
Elle (Percussion, CLYO) – Medicine at Hull York Medical School
Ellie (Bassoon, CLYO) – Music at Royal Holloway
Hannah (Cello, CLYO) – Integrated Masters in Chemistry at St Andrew’s University
Hannah (Clarinet, CLYO) – Clarinet Performance at the Royal College of Music
Holly (Saxophone, LYJRO) – Music & Mathematics at the University of Birmingham
Jessica (Violin, CLYO) – Mental Health Nursing at Sheffield Hallam University
Keith (Viola, CLYO) – Viola at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Lucy (Oboe, CLYO) – Foundation Course at Leeds Arts University
Maddy (Flute, CLYO) – History at Oxford University
Molly (Oboe, CLYWO) – French & Film Studies at University of Manchester
Rhianna (Viola, CLYO) – Physics at Durham University
Sam (Violin, CLYO) – Composition Short Course, Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Thomas (Viola, CLYO & Trombone, LYJRO) – Aerospace Engineering at University of Manchester
Tim (Flute, CLYO) – German & Italian at St Andrew’s University

All of the CLYM conductors are extremely proud of your dedication and hard work, and we have really enjoyed working with you and getting to know you all. Whether you joined us in September or been a member of CLYM since you were in primary school, it has been wonderful to see you grow both as a person and musically, and we wish you all the best for everything you will go on to do in the future!

We also caught up with a few of those with musical achievements to find out a bit more about how being part of a City of Leeds Youth Music group has helped them.

Ben, 18 (Trombone, CLYO)

Can you tell us a little bit about your City of Leeds Youth Music experience?

My City of Leeds Youth Music experience began in 2010 when I joined the City of Leeds Youth Percussion Ensemble where I mainly learnt to play the marimba alongside other percussion instruments. In participating in this ensemble, I improved many aspects of my musicality, some of which I was able to transfer over to my main instrument, the trombone. Then, in 2012, I joined the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra on trombone. This orchestra has gifted me a plethora of opportunities such as playing in the Leeds town hall and touring around countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy, as well as playing some great repertoire like Shostakovich’s 5th, 7th and 12th symphonies, Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Holst’s Planets Suite. As well as the musical side, the City of Leeds Youth Music groups have been a great way to socialise and meet likeminded people and over the last 10 years, I have had a great experience being a part of these groups.

What has been the highlight for you about being in a CLYM group?

The highlight for me, whilst being in a Clym group, was playing Shostakovich 7 in my last City of Leeds Youth Orchestra concert in the Leeds town hall. It was an amazing experience that I was able to share with friends and the conductor (Dougie Scarfe) who I had grown up with in the orchestra and it was a great way to end my time there.

We hear you’re going on to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama next year – can you tell us a bit about that?

In September, I will be going to study classical trombone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama which is something I am very much looking forward to. It is an opportunity to further develop me as a trombonist and it will be a great way for me to meet other top musicians from around the country.

Charlotte, 19 (Cello, CLYO)

Can you tell us a little bit about your City of Leeds Youth Music experience?

I have been a part of CLYM groups for the last 4 years playing the cello, starting out in the Training Orchestra for a year before joining CLYO.

What has been the highlight for you about being in a CLYM group?

The main highlight of being in a CLYM group has been making amazing friends with fellow young musicians and being able to play orchestral pieces that I otherwise would not have been able to.

We hear you’re going on to study Music next year – can you tell us a bit about that?

Yes, I am hoping to study Music at Durham next year. I look forward to being able to solely focus on music in a beautiful part of the country and explore parts of it that I couldn’t before going on to higher education.

Evan, 13 (Saxophone, CLYWO & LYJRO)

Can you tell us a little bit about your City of Leeds Youth Music experience?

I play the saxophone and piano, although for the CLYM groups I only play the saxophone. I have been a part of LYJRO (playing Saxophone II) for 2 and a half years, and a part of CLYWO (playing Saxophone I) for 2 years.

What has been the highlight for you about being in a CLYM group?

The highlight of being in a CLYM group is that I can play my instrument as part of a group, not just by myself or with a piano as accompaniment. This has helped me develop my timing and it is extremely important. I have reached ABSRM Grade 8 piano and I am playing the saxophone at the level of Grade 7.

We hear you’ve got a music scholarship for next year – can you tell us a bit about that?

The music scholarship was for Harrow, but I have decided to go to Eton with an academic scholarship – the King’s Scholarship.

Hannah, 18 (Clarinet, CLYO)

Can you tell us a little bit about your City of Leeds Youth Music experience?

I have been in CLYO for one year playing clarinet (and saxophone once!) We have played a variety of music, and I was lucky enough to play the E flat clarinet in Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony.

What has been the highlight for you about being in a CLYM group?

Before CLYO, I had never played in a full orchestra, and so to play with so many people and create such an amazing sound was incredible. A highlight was definitely playing the Shostakovich in Leeds Town Hall, and I really enjoyed learning to love Shostakovich’s music and understand it better each week!

We hear you’re going to the Royal College of Music next year – can you tell us a bit about that?

Yes! I’m so excited to start at RCM next year and I will be studying clarinet performance under Tim Lines and Richard Hosford. I am very grateful to CLYO for teaching me about orchestral ensemble playing and I am sure this will be useful at RCM!

Harriet, 18 (Oboe, CLYO)

Can you tell us a little bit about your City of Leeds Youth Music experience?

I play the oboe and have been a member of the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra for the past year.

What has been the highlight for you about being in a CLYM group?

My favourite part of being in CLYO has been having the opportunity to play Shostakovich’s ‘Leningrad’ Symphony at Leeds Town Hall. It was really inspiring to play such a monumental piece with over a hundred other musicians.

Jelly, 15 (Double Bass, CLYWO)

Can you tell us a little bit about your City of Leeds Youth Music experience?

I play the double bass in CLYWO. I’m lucky to be the only string instrument in the orchestra as I get to pay a lot of repertoire I wouldn’t normally play. The wind band is a great group of young people and we got on really well, meaning rehearsal is always full of laughs. CLYWO has really helped me get experience of playing as the only string instrument meaning I have to focus.

CLYWO has a great atmosphere musically and socially, thanks to Ed and Kipps and I can’t wait for it to start back again.

What has been the highlight for you about being in a CLYM group?

The definite highlight of CLYWO was the tour of Rhineland last year.

We hear you’re in the National Youth Orchestra – can you tell us a bit about that?

I am now a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. I have spent the past year with them and should have been playing in the Proms this August if Covid hadn’t happened.

Congratulations to the City of Leeds Youth Music members of 2019-20!

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