Young violinist from South Rauceby to play with National Children’s Orchestras

Agatha Parkin, 9, is a talented violinist.
Agatha Parkin, 9, is a talented violinist.
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A nine-year-old violinist from South Rauceby has earned a coveted place in the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain (NCO).

Agatha Parkin was one of more than 1,100 children aged between seven and 13 who auditioned for roles within the five age-banded orchestras, the largest number of applicants in the NCO’s 35-year history.

This summer Agatha will attend a week-long residential course, culminating in a concert for family and friends.

Her father John Parkin said: “Agatha took up the violin when she was four years old and has studied throughout with local teacher Laura Gardiner. When she was eight, she achieved a distinction in her Grade 5 exam.”

To focus on her music Agatha left school last year to be educated at home, and as well as being a gifted violinist she sings in St Wulfram’s choir and studies piano under the church’s director of music Tim Williams.

“Violin is her first love, though, and she is a big fan of famous soloist Nicola Benedetti, whom she was fortunate enough to meet last year,” said Mr Parkin.

“Nicola was herself a member of the NCO and many of the orchestra’s members go on to be professional musicians, which is Agatha’s ultimate ambition.”

The young violinist has also joined NCO’s Northern Regional Orchestra, which meets monthly near Leeds.

Her father added: “She has already rehearsed with them and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing with older children to make music of an exceptional standard.”

Agatha is keen to spread the word about the opportunities offered by the NCO to talented young musicians, and more information can be found at