County hitting all the right notes in finals

The Northamptonshire County Youth Orchestra accepting their applause having performed in Birmingham's Symphony Hall NNL-150724-102322001
The Northamptonshire County Youth Orchestra accepting their applause having performed in Birmingham's Symphony Hall NNL-150724-102322001
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Northamptonshire was very well represented at the National Festival of Music for Youth (NFMY) with seven groups and four schools in the finals.

The NFMY is the biggest youth music festival in the world and this year’s event saw the County Youth Choir, Guiltarlactica, Northamptonshire Youth Percussion Ensemble, the John Clare String Quartet the County Youth Concert Band, the County Youth Big Band and the County Youth Orchestra all representing the county.

Groups from Northampton School for Boys, Sponne School, Hawthorne Primary School and Spratton Hall School also took part.

The event took place in Birmingham over the weekend of July 11 and 12.

Rachel Coles, deputy head of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust, said: “All in all, Northamptonshire had more representation at the Finals than any other county.”

The Northamptonshire groups brought a huge haul of awards back to the county, including the County Youth Concert Band which won the Performance Practice Award.

Rachel added: “This group is conducted by Peter Smalley – chief executive of NMPAT.

“In the mentor feedback for the CYCB the mentors said they were giving the award for the best Wind Band playing they had heard in 30 years.”

“The CYCB played Do not go Gentle into That Good Night by Elliot Del Borgo. The title is taken from a poem by Dylan Thomas, and was written for Thomas’ dying father.

“The CYCB also got to perform twice at the Finals because they were invited to perform the world premiere of a piece by former member of the band, Alga Mau. The piece, ‘Spirit’ was featured on the new music stage, and written specifically for the

The County Youth Orchestra also won the Innovation Award after judges said they played music “more difficult than they would expect from a youth orchestra”.

The orchestra had played movements from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

Rachel added: “We can be very proud of the young people in Northamptonshire. What a lot of talent they have!”