Six young musicians aged between eight and 17 from Grantham and Lincoln were invited to perform as part of world famous violinist Nicola Benedetti’s Italy and the Four Seasons Tour in Leeds Town Hall.
Oasby Music Group violinists Agatha Parkin (10), Eliot Spinks (14), Hester Parkin (8), Shivani Jansari (8), violist Disha Singhania (17) and cellist Rosie Spinks (17) rehearsed a Vivaldi concerto with local violin teacher Laura Gardiner to be performed on stage as a surprise to the audience alongside Nicola and members of her ensemble.
The musicians prepared the three movements in a series of rehearsals. After a month of preparation, the young players were able to present to Nicola, her ensemble and Leeds Town Hall the music they had been determined to impress with.
Before the ensemble could perform, they were lucky enough to be able to listen to Nicola and her ensemble rehearse Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. This gave them an insight into the relaxed and informal manner in which they worked, sharing new ideas and being creative and specific with how they played the notes.
Soon after, the musicians were due to rehearse with Nicola Benedetti on the stage. The rehearsal went well, with the only advice from Nicola being to play out more and play like soloists in the full ensemble sections.
Speaking of their experience, Agatha, who played the solo violin part, said, “When I was first told I’d be playing the concerto with Nicola Benedetti I could not believe that it was actually happening to me. It really was like walking into my biggest dream. I was very excited and Nicola was so friendly that I didn’t feel nervous at all.”
Cellist Rosie said: “It was an incredible opportunity and really spurred on my passion to perform. During this concert, I not only performed with Nicola Benedetti but also played with cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and felt immediately inspired by the confidence of his playing.”
The concert was a great success, the hard work paid off and the young players dazzled with their performance. The musicians finished their day by watching the second half of the concert. This was an inspiring end to a day they will never forget.