THEY’RE THE CREAM of Huddersfield’s musical prowess.
Now a handful of young Kirklees musicians have been cherry-picked to perform in front of thousands after making it into the finals of a national contest.
Dozens of bands, choirs, groups and orchestras auditioned their skills at Colne Valley High School in March for a place in the prestigious National Festival of Music for Youth finals.
A total of seven groups were chosen to represent the area at the Birmingham event on Monday July 6.
Meltham Church of England School’s infant string group were among them.
The group of 16 pupils aged five to eight made to the final stage for the second year running.
Head teacher Alex Beaumont was delighted to hear the news.
He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. They have done so well to get here.
“Music is a priority in our school. We do a lot of it here and have around 50 string players at the school. The festival is a showcase for young people’s talent.
“There are not any winners or losers. It is a lovely event and the sight of little five-year-olds playing violins is quite thrilling. We are absolutely delighted.”
Holmfirth High School Orchestra and Choir was also selected for the festival, as well as the highly-acclaimed Lindley Junior School Choir – which was last year named BBC Songs of Praise Junior School Choir of the Year.
They will be joined by four Kirklees Music School groups including the Kirklees Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Holme Valley Music Centre Intermediate Wind Band and the Kirklees School String Orchestra – which made the grade for the 14th consecutive year.
Also joining them will be the Shelley Music Centre Big Band.
The 42-piece jazz ensemble rehearse at Shelley High School every week.
They were pleased to receive positive feedback during the regional auditions in March and an invitation to the national festival in Birmingham.
Jamie O'Brien, music centre leader, said: “I was delighted to hear that the band had received an invitation to take part in the National Festival.
“It’s a credit to the talent and commitment of the youngsters, and of course the hard work and dedication of all the staff at the music centre.”
More than 10,000 young musicians from around the country are expected to take part in the seven-dayfestival.
The seven Kirklees groups will be among 315 groups performing live at impressive venues including Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
Lincoln Abbotts, chief executive for Music for Youth, said: “The festival is one of the world’s greatest youth music festivals which really does showcase the breadth, innovation and pure talent that exists in young people’s music making in the UK.
“The opportunity to perform in major venues provides these young musicians with the motivation and inspiration to fully explore their musical ambitions.”
Music for Youth is an educational charity, with a reputation for music teaching.
It provides free access to learning and performance opportunities for all.