The Thurrock Youth Orchestra, which is run by Thurrock Music Services, is celebrating after being granted money from the Youth Opportunities Fund to go towards the cost of a musical tour later this year. In the past two years, the Orchestra has performed in Paris (2008) and in Aachen, Germany, in Valkenburg, Holland and in Belgium (2009). The cost of these tours has been mostly funded by parents of the members of the Orchestra but it was felt that a further tour was adding financial burden at a time of economic uncertainty. However, the funding means that a tour to Italy in July 2010 is looking more likely.
The bid was put together by a group of students from the Orchestra with no adult assistance in line with the criteria for the bidding process. Lizzie Bird (leader of the orchestra) and one of the main members of the student group commented, “We are so grateful to the money given by the youth cabinet. If it wasn’t for their generosity, it is unlikely we would be going away on tour as an orchestra this year! Every time we go abroad, we see ourselves as young ambassadors and this opportunity means we can showcase the musical talent of Thurrock further into Europe.”
Thurrock Youth Orchestra has been in existence for less than three years but has already had many remarkable achievements. As well as two Tours abroad, it has performed at The Royal Festival Hall in London in 2008 and was commended for its performance at The Music for Youth Regional Festival in 2009.
The Orchestra meets weekly at The Culver Centre in South Ockendon on a Tuesday evening from 6.45–8.30pm and new members are always welcome. There is an informal audition process and players need to be a minimum of Grade 3 standard on an orchestral instrument to apply. The Thurrock Youth Training Orchestra also rehearses on a Tuesday evening (5.30–6.30pm) for players of Grade 1 -3 standards with no audition required.
For further information about either of the orchestras or any other music ensemble please contact the Thurrock Music Services on Tel: 01375 413680.