Musical Muswell Hill trio will stage concert to help save NYO

by Marijke Peters A CASH-strapped orchestra has hit a high note after a trio of Muswell Hill musicians pledged to raise money to help safeguard its future. Sisters Isobel and Rachel Wick, and their friend Rebecca Greenstreet are all members of the prestigiou

Marijke Peters

A CASH-strapped orchestra has hit a high note after a trio of Muswell Hill musicians pledged to raise money to help safeguard its future.

Sisters Isobel and Rachel Wick, and their friend Rebecca Greenstreet are all members of the prestigious National Youth Orchestra, which has performed in the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

But a lack of government funding means the NYO is struggling financially and the young musicians are organising a fundraising concert to help out.


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Harpist Rachel, 18, said: "I love playing in orchestras. It's amazing to play with so many other people of a high standard. It's not competitive but everyone wants to make the best music they can.

"I know a lot of young people see classical music as a sad thing but I really enjoy playing it."

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Rachel joined the NYO a year ago and played in a Proms concert conducted by Sir Colin Davis last year. She has been playing the harp since she was six years old and hopes to study music at Oxford University then complete a postgraduate course.

She said: "Both my parents are musicians and I used to sit in on their rehearsals when I was little. I remember going to see the Nutcracker, which has a big harp part, and I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever heard."

More than 150 of the country's finest young musicians aged 13 to 19 meet four times a year for residential courses led by professionals at the NYO. They hold concerts at top musical venues including the Barbican and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

This year they will entertain a slightly different audience when they play the pyramid stage at Glastonbury festival.

The orchestra costs £1.1million to run annually but it only receives £170,000 of government funding. Members have been asked to organise recitals to raise its profile as well as money.

Jonathan Vaughan, director of the NYO, said: "It's a huge struggle to keep it going. We are fortunate the combination of music and being a charity is a heady mix so we get a lot of interest, but we really rely on members to help us out.

"They need to understand going into the music profession is not an easy option and funding is always tight. This is a good way of showing them that.

"All three girls are extraordinarily talented musicians and have shown great personal and musical development so I'm delighted they've taken the initiative to organise this recital."

The recital will be held on March 30 at 7.30pm in the Muswell Hill United Reformed Church on Tetherdown.

Tickets cost £8 for adults and £5 for concessions - to book call 020-8442 0589.

broadway@hamhigh.co.uk

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