A budding violin virtuoso from Sutton is set to take centre stage after being named leader of the National Youth Orchestra.
Sixteen-year-old Kynan Walker, who attends Plantsbrook School, will lead 164 of Britain’s most talented young musicians when he takes up the prestigious role.
“There was a moment of disbelief when I first found out, but now I’m very excited for the year ahead,” said Kynan, who lives in Wylde Green.
“Leader of orchestra takes the principal role of leading their own section, but also a role in making sure everyone is playing together, all 164 young musicians in total. The leader also makes sure that everyone is happy, and gets along with each other.
“It’s a big responsibility, where the social role is as important as playing and leading the section.
“I also have to have a very good relationship with the conductor, as the leader sits right at the front of the orchestra.”
The National Youth Orchestra selects talented youngsters from all over Britain, aged between 13 and 19.
They meet three times a year, in winter, spring and summer, for three courses. Each course, usually held at a university, lasts two weeks and helps the orchestra prepare for annual performances in the nation’s most prestigious concert venues, with one planned for Birmingham’s Symphony Hall next year.
“I’m really looking forward to not only playing, but also trying my best to make classical music accessible to other young people, and open other people’s eyes to the music,”
– Kynan Walker
Kynan first picked up a violin when he was six years old, and travels to London every Saturday for lessons at the Junior Royal Academy of Music.
Now he wants to use his new position to share his love of classical music with other youngsters.
“I’m really looking forward to not only playing, but also trying my best to make classical music accessible to other young people, and open other people’s eyes to the music,” he said.
“I’ve had so much support from Plantsbrook,” he added. “The school has so much to offer musically, with lots of ensembles and opportunities to develop.
“Plantsbrook helps not only people that already play instruments, but also people who don’t but might want to learn an instrument.”
Mrs Lisa Wilson, the school’s assistant subject leader for performing arts, said: “Having someone like Kynan in the school inspires the other children, he’s so hard-working and conscientious.
“Music is a big part of school life at Plantsbrook and Kynan sets an example for what can be achieved.”