The National Youth Chamber Orchestra Click on the featured images to reveal comments from our students Rowan Jones (Clarinet) The National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain is a unique experience that not only stretches your playing both individually and collectively, but also provides a real flavour of the challenges of being on trial for a professional orchestra. The wind section consists of only 10 seats, meaning we work incredibly hard to integrate our talents so we can become a coherent body within the orchestra. A mix of wind sectionals lead by the renowned Melanie Ragge, instrumental sections (2:1) by members of the New London Chamber Ensemble and full orchestral rehearsals provides members with exposure to high calibre professionalism. I feel a more rounded, attentive and confident young musician after the NYCO course and my involvement with the orchestra has definitely informed my musicianship to new heights. The course will remain one of the most positive musical experience of my teenage years! Imogen Davey (Flute) The National Youth Chamber Orchestra course has done so much for me as a musician and has helped me to become a more well-rounded person in general. The two to one individual instrumental sessions held by members of the New London Chamber Ensemble were invaluable and really boosted my confidence. Having Robert Manasse as a coach for three days really helped me improve my flute playing immensely and left me feeling extremely inspired. With the help of the coaches, the wind section as a whole really connected and we were able to blend together as we became more aware of everyone else within the section. The NYCO course provides players the experience of a professional orchestra and readily prepares us for the future, for instance, when on trial in an orchestra. The course is without doubt, one of the best musical experiences I have had to this day! Guylaine Eckersley (Bassoon) I have loved being a part of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain for the last three years. The training we get from Melanie Ragge is second to none. We learn about the repertoire and our own playing in a challenging and detailed way, with Mel asking for the highest quality of playing and nothing less. The tutoring we get from the New London Chamber Ensemble is amazing; we all learn so much about our own instruments and also about the others in the section, so that we can blend our collective sounds together and play truly as one. In addition to all the detailed learning, which has improved my playing, my concentration and my ability to adjust to conductors’ instructions quickly, we are also looked after extremely well by Mel and the rest of the staff at NYCO. Mel emphasises care over our bodies and reducing the potential for muscle strains; skills which every young musician should learn and practice, so that we can continue the music making we enjoy so much. I owe so much to the whole of the NYCO team for providing me with a such brilliant opportunity. James Edmiston (Clarinet) I had a great time, and learned a huge amount about blending, intonation and ensemble from you and the other members of the quintet. I definitely felt that by the end of the week I had become more sensitive to everything around me, and went home a much better musician for it. The two-to-one coaching ensured we were completely confident going into the rehearsals with Chris Hirons, and was also a great opportunity to learn more about technique on our relative instruments, as well as receive lots of individual feedback. The course opened my eyes to a completely different school of orchestral playing that I absolutely love, and I hope to be back next year. Isabella Pincombe (Oboe) I had a fantastic time working with the wonderful wind tutors for NLCE at NYCO this year. I was truly inspired by the amazing coaching I received from Mel Ragge in particular, she always made sure to look after the wind section, striking the perfect balance between work and rest. Without her help and the help from her colleagues from NLCE our wind section would not have become as well knit and communicative as it had by the end of the week. I especially enjoyed gaining valuable advice and guidance in our two to one sectional rehearsals: Mel took the upmost care to make sure that what we were learning would set us up for life as musicians outside of school and university. For this I will always be grateful. Thank you so much for an amazing time! Ella Leonard (Oboe) NYCO was an unforgettable experience; I learnt so much from Mel and Chris Hirons during rehearsals. It has really inspired me to work hard on all the things that I need to improve on to help with my playing. Playing without a conductor has made me realise how important it is to listen to the other members of the orchestra and work as a team, especially as a woodwind section. I have just ordered the book, How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony and Why You Should Care, and I will make sure that I read it thoroughly! I have loved every minute of the course and it has definitely changed my view towards music for the better. I would love to go to a music school in the future and am really excited by the idea of looking around the Purcell school. George Strivens (Horn) The week I spent playing with the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain has been an experience I will never forget. Steve Stirling and Melanie Ragge, my main tutors, taught me crucial skills in how to be a horn player in a chamber orchestra as well as improving skills in intonation and blending within the section. I loved getting to know the fantastic repertoire in such depth over the week and the final performance was an achievement I feel very proud to have been a part of. I hope, in years to come, that I will play with many of the members of this orchestra again.