National Children's Orchestra


Four Junior students – Third Year Emily Sprackling on cello, Second Year Penny Cairney-Leeming on flute and First Years Anna Le Huray and William Everitt, on horn and trumpet respectively - were delighted to hear that they had been selected for a place in the National Children’s Orchestra (NCO), a very prestigious organisation with six age-banded orchestras from the ages of 7 up to 14.

Although all four had been members of the NCO before – quite astonishingly this is either their 3rd or 4th year of membership - entry to the next age-banded orchestra is not in any way automatic; all students are re-auditioned each autumn so they were all the more relieved to hear that they had been re-selected. Penny said she had had an anxious two-month wait for the result and Emily had been very worried that she wouldn’t get in again as next year, once she turns 14, she will be too old to apply. Imagine ‘retiring’ at the age of 14!

Aoife Parr, a current Fourth Year student, knows what it’s like to ‘retire’ from the NCO and still misses her time there but is now pursuing some other exciting musical endeavours which will undoubtedly appear in future news articles! Anna is most looking forward to playing at different venues and to discovering new places; all spring and summer holiday courses are residential, culminating in concerts in illustrious concert venues such as Colston Hall, Bristol and the Anvil, Basingstoke. Emily, as a member of the Main NCO and Anna and Penny in the U13 Orchestra, were thrilled to discover that they will also perform at the Barbican Concert Hall in December. Penny said that she couldn’t wait to see the friends she had made over the years and to find out what her orchestra was going to play.

Students in the NCO naturally play at a very high standard; we were recently delighted to hear Emily had scored a very high mark in her ABRSM Grade 7 cello exam and subsequently has been invited to perform at the High Scorers’ Concert in Sunbury next month!

Director of Music, Mr M von Freyhold said,

“Many congratulations to Emily, Penny, Anna and William for having been selected again to be part of the NCO. The experience of playing in such a fine ensemble, together with the numerous performance and training opportunities, is an invaluable addition to their instrumental lessons and their general music education at KGS and elsewhere.”