Encore: ‘Inspiring’ Youth Orchestra’s masterful Beethoven concert

City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra
City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra
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CONDUCTOR Chris Gayford is inspired by his work with the CSYO and wants others to share the feeling.

“Working with the staff and members of City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra has been one of the most inspiring experiences of my life in music,” he says.

“When I see and hear their commitment to and passion for the music we perform, I wish that even more people could have the chance to experience what they have to offer.”

The orchestra is at the City Hall on April 6, a return visit after last year’s successful performance in the same venue’s 80th Birthday Celebrations, when the audience was delighted by two pieces composed and conducted by CSYO member Tom Jarvis.  

This time, they will perform Beethoven’s masterful 9th symphony, a challenge for orchestra.

“It’s tempting to assume that concerts given by any group of youngsters must be mainly aimed at their mums and dads,” says Gayford.  

“This is not true of CSYO; although their mums and dads are there supporting them and helping to keep the enterprise afloat, the quality of the work they create, and in particular the freshness and passion of the performances they give has to be seen to be believed.”

It is testament to the quality of their performances that cellist Natalie Clein made time in her packed schedule last summer to play withb the orchestra in concerts in Sheffield, Antwerp and Amsterdam.

She described the CYSO as “her favourite youth orchestra in the world.”

They will prepare for the April concert with an intensive four-day residential course in Pocklington during Easter week in preparation for the event. 

Gayford says once away, rehearsal schedules are hectic with two sessions each morning and afternoon and one each evening. 

“We also squeeze in time for a round of social activities and such is the great sense of camaraderie and commitment engendered that many, not pursuing music academically post 18, still return to play with us until they have to leave at 21.”

The orchestra has some powerful allies. It welcomed Peter Cropper, founder of the internationally acclaimed Lindsay String Quartet of which he was leader for more than 40 years, as president in autumn 2012. “My aim over the next few years will be to make the city aware of the great achievements the CSYO has made,” he said. 

The orchestra has openings, particularly for viola, cello and bass players, but welcomes approaches from all aspiring orchestral players; details of the application and audition process, and much more, can be found by visiting the websitewww.csyo.org.uk 

Tickets are available for the City Hall concert from the box office: prices £12 full, £10 concession, £4 students and under 16s.