Standard: What is it like to watch the National Children’s Orchestra perform?

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Look how cool and creative I can be with my interesting iPhone photo editing apps. I can make London look dreamy and idyllic with a bit of fake Bokeh. Heh…


Tonight I saw NCO‘s Main Orchestra perform in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. It was amazing! I was especially drawn to watch/listen to the brass (they were always brilliant when I was in NCO) and the leader of the orchestra.

The sound from the brass hit the back of the concert hall without any imperfections. Not a single note split. The leader was wildly enthusiastic and very keen on bowing to the audience because he bowed at the end of the 1st half of the concert; I could hear his playing pierce through the rest of the violins! They played Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in the 2nd half which was very lyrical and emotional and beautifully shaped. I can’t believe their maximum age is 14/15.

The leader reminded me of a boy who was in the same NCO orchestra as me for a few years. He sang a lot and he was actually in the Choirboys. It was the way he moved and smiled. He even had a similar hair cut.

I sat beside the mums of two different members. I loved talking to them about NCO. It seems absurd that I came all this way for a concert but I don’t have any regrets. Being an audience member instead of being in the orchestra, is still a similar experience.

I was not bored during the concert either. Not one bit.
(But maybe I was in a good mood because I had Italian food for dinner…)

At the end the audience (the majority of them parents of the children) gave 2 standing ovations. I stood up too and I even ‘wooped’. Fearless me.

I could see several people in the orchestra crying: these Winter Concerts mark the end of a year being in NCO. Two years ago I was here, in Main Orchestra, ‘graduating’ from NCO, but I never cried at the end of the Winter concert (or any NCO concert I had done in fact). It was a bit awkward for me backstage being the odd one out amongst the crying. Some of them had only done one year in NCO and I was there after 7 years, absolutely stable and quiet.

The ex-members reception was nice. The other ex-members were several years older than me and I didn’t recognize anyone from my year. I sipped apple juice and talked to some people I’ve never met before and some staff who I have seen countless times on courses.

Tomorrow I’m meeting an old NCO friend at a crazy hour in the morning (he has school) and then I’m heading back to school in time for my violin lesson. I’m sad though because I’m missing Chemistry. I like Chemistry…

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3 thoughts on “Standard: What is it like to watch the National Children’s Orchestra perform?

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