Marlborough students wins place on national youth orchestra

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Helena Mackie was chosen out of 750 auditionees Helena Mackie was chosen out of 750 auditionees

Oboist Helena Mackie is over the moon after being awarded a place in the National Youth Orchestra.

The 14-year-old, of Netheravon, is one of 165 bright young musicians to be chosen out of 750 auditionees for a coveted seat in this year’s orchestra.
Helena, a Marlborough College student, went two rounds of gruelling auditions in Bristol and London in front of our world-class professional tutors to earn her spot.

She said: “When I saw that the email from National Youth Orchestra had come through my legs suddenly stopped doing what I wanted them to and my friend had to sit me down so that I could read it.

“When we saw that I had got in we both screamed really loudly, right in front of my housemistress’ office. She came out with a face like thunder but when I told her the news she gave me a hug.

“I was so excited and couldn’t believe that I had got in even through to the second round of auditions because I know other people that were auditioning who I still think are better than I am at the oboe.”

Helena has been playing the oboe for five years and will now get to showcase her talents in some of the UK’s finest concert halls, under the world’s leading conductors.

She said: “I still don’t really know which part I’m looking forward to most but up at the top of the list must be working alongside these really talented and experienced musicians who all share the same passion and playing some of the brilliant repertoire that the National Youth Orchestra plays.”

Mum Julia Mackie added: “I think it’s brilliant, 14 is the youngest age at which they can apply and it’s very unusual for people who play wind instruments to get in on their first audition so she’s done very well.

“When she was young she was just one of those children who music seemed to pour out of.

“For her to be recognised in this way is just fantastic.”

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