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My year in NYO Inspire
Violinist fraser reflects on his experiences as an nyo inspire musician

'Having only found out about NYO Inspire at the start of 2019, I was very excited to discover what opportunities were available to me. I vividly remember being very enthusiastic about NYO Inspire Ensembles in February: the music was really fun to learn and play, and also slightly difficult but without becoming unenjoyable. 

It was amazing to meet so many like-minded and committed musicians, who were both part of NYO or NYO Inspire like me. It was so refreshing to play with so many dedicated people, and it’s fair to say all this passion was conveyed into the final performance. 

I think my favourite memory could be taken from any of the sectional rehearsals, as they really encompass what I love about NYO Inspire, the focus on improving ourselves and our music-making while giving a good performance and having fun at the same time. There was a pleasant informality, which allowed even greater focus on improving musicianship in the group.

I was also lucky enough to be a part of the NYO Inspire Orchestra this summer. I was immediately up to the challenge (Bartòk ‘s Concerto for Orchestra was no mean feat), and I felt excited to meet up with friends I had made during my participation in the NYO Inspire Ensembles in February.

Something that stuck with me, is the way we were treated: as musicians. As young people, we never felt talked down to, and the sense of a common goal was really tangible because of it. All the tutors were friendly, helpful and easy to talk to, and the tutti rehearsals were so enjoyable thanks to the professionalism of the conductor. 

The NYO Inspire Orchestra typically goes on a four-day tour at the end of its six-day residency, visiting schools, sharing music and giving workshops. I think this is where I learnt a lot about myself, as having to give workshops and share my knowledge with people who have had little contact with orchestral music, is something I’d never done before. For me, it was undoubtedly the highlight of the residency.

I hope that the atmosphere of encouragement and warmth I experienced at every NYO Inspire activity I took part in 2019, will encourage eligible young musicians to apply and share their love of music and its transformative power.'


This is Fraser's story. What could yours be? 

If you are, or you know, a committed teenage musician who needs access to further orchestral opportunities and plays at Grade 6-8 (or equivalent), find out how you can learn with us in exciting activities across the country. Apply here: nyo.org.uk/inspire - it’s free!

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