Success at the double

WORLD BEATERS: The Peak District String Orchestra with their award from the National Festival of Music for Youth. Photo contributed.
WORLD BEATERS: The Peak District String Orchestra with their award from the National Festival of Music for Youth. Photo contributed.
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TWO LOCAL music ensembles delighted audiences at the world’s largest youth music festival.

Peak District String Orchestra and High Peak Wind Band performed in the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham recently, with the string orchestra returning home with the award for Music Centre Youth Orchestra 2012 from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Both groups are part of Peak District Music Centres (PDMC), a charity which provides musical opportunities in the High Peak.

Chairman David Brindley said: “The achievement of our ensembles at the National Music for Youth should give local people enormous grounds for pride in the musicianship and dedication of our young people.”

High Peak Wind Band, conducted by Tom Jarvis, played in the Wind Band category in the Birmingham Symphony Hall on July 5. Their set comprised Louis Prima’s “Sing Sing Sing”, the theme from Indiana Jones and a march by Holst. Their performance was immensely strong for a band with just 27 players and it was deservedly praised by the mentors who particularly enjoyed the varied programme, the range of moods and styles and the very good balance within the band.

Two days later it was the turn of the Peak District String Orchestra to play in the Music Centre Orchestra category at Birmingham Town Hall. Under Ensemble Director Ian Naylor, they performed two movements from Vivaldi’s double cello concerto in E minor followed by three from Shostakovich’s bleak and evocative Quartet No. 8 for String Orchestra.

The judges were enthralled by both pieces, with particular praise for the two cello soloists, Miriam Brown and Toby Gundry-Whit, and the viola section.

The orchestra’s performance was described as “outstanding, simply breathtaking… you took the entire audience with you”.