Grace Notes: NYOW 2015 – The first day

So, we have had one full day of the course. It started with registration, where we get given the essential information and then we split off into our welfare groups (who we meet with every morning to discuss the upcoming days events and if there are any problems, it’s a chance to voice them) for a few more pointers on what to expect.


The boot of the car packed with all our stuff for the tour! Can't believe this is the last time I'll make the journey to Lampeter!

After that, we headed off to our first sctional rehearsal. I’m in the first violins who are tutored by Adrian Dunn. We mainly worked on some of the trickier passages and working out all the different time signatures and beats so that we could survive in the full orchestra rehearsal later!

The evening session was with everybody. We played through two of the three pieces (the Schmitt and the Stravinsky Rite of Spring. Both are very rhythmic in places and I found that playing on all the right off-beats far more challenging than the actual notes!!


My view of the orchestra during a full rehearsal.

In the evenings there are various activities involved (such as fancy dress mentioned here) and the event tonight was a few small ice breakers within our welfare groups. It gave us a chance to meet new members, and once they were over we were able to relax and have a catch up with (or get to know) the other members of the orchestra.

I’m looking forward to getting stuck into rehearsals today! Hopefully I’ll be able to get me head around a few more of the complicated rhythms….


Grace Notes: The beginning of the end.

On Saturday I had my last concert as a member of Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra. After seven years it feels strange to no longer be a part of it, but it also nicely marks the point where I’m technically no longer a ‘youth’ and I feel strangely free (although I can sense this ‘freedom’ starting to feel scary when I have to start thinking about life after college…..!). We ended the concert with Symphonie Fantastique and I can’t think of a more epic (for want of a better word) way to go.


My deskie Morven Graham and I waiting for our final concert. We’ve been sat next to each other for nearly seven years and it’s strange to think we may not desk partners in orchestra for a very long time!

I’m currently on my way to my final NYOW course. It’s strange to think that this will be that last time we load up the car and drive along the wiggly roads to Lampeter. I have spent the last seven summers of my life there and it’ll be strange to not spend any more time there. Over the next two weeks I’m going to be doing a number of short posts about the course. I’ll be talking about what we’re up to, the music, differences between this and previous years and how I feel about this being my last year as a ‘youth’.