My NYO photos aren’t very good so I’ve stolen a few of my friends’ – hope they don’t mind…
I’m going to keep it brief – I have more to say about the day after our Prom!
Some reviews have emerged online. Have a read? Mostly postive!
3. The Guardian
Stepping from the stage into the backstage is like travelling to two different countries. I could hardly breathe within the thin and shallow corridors: Atlanta. The stage was airy and cool: Edinburgh.
The BBC have already posted clips of our concert on YouTube. When I showed the Handsfree video to some of my friends, they said it looked like a tribal dance – couldn’t agree more.
Watch it on BBC 4 on August 23rd at 7:30pm!
The following day I met with an old friend, Wacki, for lunch. A sushi lunch in a small place in Kensington. I took a very short tube ride on my own (two stops) to meet her; a brief journey yet still something which I felt could go wrong. Which line? Which stop? I was fine, thank goodness.
She ordered Jasmine tea – an hourglass is provided to time how long to soak the leaves.
We left and visited the Victoria & Albert Museum. Well, I say the museum, but I really mean the gift shop. It’s a museum in itself! Wacki and I discovered every earring design possible and admired those little bits and bobs you’d never really need in your life, like pins which look like leaves. We continued our walk to Hyde Park. She said,
“I love this part of London. If I go out with my other friends they usually just want to go shopping – to Westfield… ‘Cause they see London all the time? But I love this area so much. “
Tourist photograph in front of the monument:
I was also planning to meet a few of my friends from NYOS (National Youth Orchestra of Scotland), during their free time. They had a Prom later in the evening as well. Turn outs (what on earth did I just type..?) another old NCO friend was in NYOS and we were astonished to be reunited at such a surprise occasion:
Olive, school friend, violist and me.
I also ‘met’ another friend who was performing in a Prom which took place in the afternoon. He’s a double bassist and also sings in the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. I suddenly remembered that he told me about this performance. I was wandering around the Albert Hall when this concert had just ended. Hm, maybe Ben is there? I peeked through the doors and scanned the choir stalls, trying to pick out the peroxide blonde hair style he wears.
Aha, I found him! Right on the edge of the choir. The singers were gradually filing away row by row. Luckily for me, he was in the last row or something, so I power walked round the circular corridor to get to the furthest box I could find.
“Ben!” whispered me, kind of out of breath. “Ben!”
He saw me. His concert outfit was smart, but kind of funny. Dark electric blue bow tie? I couldn’t hear what he was saying. His fellow choir colleagues looked round, probably taken aback by this tourist look-alike – wearing my hat, brown leather rucksack, baggy coat – communicating in this undignified manner.
I met him downstairs and had the most annoyingly brief conversation ever.
The NYOS/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Prom was a great success! The collaboration between the Youth and the Professional would have been exciting – I wish I could have done it; and having a soloist like Nicola Benedetti – it truly would have been a dream course. She wore a blue, silky gown which glowed against the red furnishings of the Albert Hall. Mum thought she should have worn green – I protested. She played flawlessly the Scottish Fantasy by Max Bruch. I love her playing, but took a certain dislike to the concerto. It felt a bit repetitive and the piece lost my attention after a little while. After a few curtain calls, she spoke to the audience – so warm and encouraging – as an encore she performed a Scottish folk duet with the leader of NYOS, Daniel Rainey.
During the interval I met my Director of Music, who also attended the NYO Prom. My head teacher also attended both concerts but I didn’t manage to speak to her. On this occasion she had a seat in the Royal Box – I will have to ask her how she got there! Director of Music and I, we both tried to find her. My Mum offered him an ice-cream; he declined kindly.
Tomorrow I’m off on another music course in Aberdeen! It will be coached by the Hebrides Ensemble and the course is part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. I’m in a bit of an awkward packing situation, with a trunk load of dirty laundry and very few hours, and an awkward musical situation, having not looked the the music parts enough.
If life couldn’t get more annoying… my exam results are due out on the 7th August. I am crying inside, from fear, from shame, and all that.
Will write again in Aberdeen. Goodnight.