THREE FORMER PUPILS from Elgin Academy and Forres Academy are set to ‘graduate’ from playing at Elgin Town Hall – to the Royal Albert Hall.
The former Moray students have been selected to play as members of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland who will perform the annual Promenade Concerts at the London venue between July and September.
Cellists Miriam Scott and Oliver Clark, who attended Forres Academy, are to join violinist Shannon Mustard, who graduated from Elgin Academy, in the series that will include the world-famous ‘Last Night at the Proms’ concert broadcast by the BBC. This year the Proms programme includes a tribute to the late David Bowie.
Miriam and Oliver, both 18, and Shannon, 17, were all members of Moray’s Music Centre, performing in the annual concerts held at the Elgin Town Hall. Oliver and Shannon have continued their progress, Oliver at the St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and Shannon at the Chetham’s Music School in Manchester.
Miriam, meanwhile, has been studying languages at Glasgow University while performing as a member of the Kelvin Ensemble.
The delighted chair of Moray Council’s Children and Young People’s Services Committee, Councilllor Anne Skene, welcomed news of their appointment to the national orchestra, saying: “What a great experience for our young people.
“The council has had a long-standing commitment to musical education in its schools and it’s gratifying when that investment comes to fruition in this way. My sincere congratulations to them all.”
Moray’s Director of Education and Social Care, Laurence Findlay, said: “This is a tremendous accolade for these young people and for the Moray Music Centre, which continues to foster such a high level of performance among our talented young musicians.
“Everyone in Moray is very proud of them and wishes them well for the Proms concert in August.”
Moray Council’s Head of Instrumental Service, John Mustard, said the students should be very proud of their achievements.
He added: “The competition to be selected for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland is very intense, so for Moray to have three of its young people selected is fantastic.
“They have worked very hard for a long time so deserve this opportunity, but without Moray Council’s long-standing support for the area’s young musicians it would have been a lot harder.”