NINE-year-old Robbie Jansen is tipped to steal the show at a charity fundraiser later this month.
The young Sheffield lad has been invited to perform at Safe@Last’s ‘evening of entertainment,’ alongside a host of other local performers.
But Robbie is no ordinary youngster - he is the youngest clarinetist in the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.
“To be playing at national level at nine is incredible,” said proud mum Liz Jansen.
“He works hard at his music and it shows.”
Robbie, of Ecclesall, began playing the clarinet three years ago. According to his teachers, his dedication to the instrument has brought around an astounding change in his sound the last 18 months.
“At six years old, Robbie was just another kid in our school orchestra starting to play the clarinet,” said Nigel Gyte, director of music at Rudston School in Rotherham.
“His tireless work ethic, combined with his natural talent, means he now produces an impressive sound and tone, with superior lip strength that is unusual for a child his age.”
Mr Gyte will duet with Robbie on the piano in the Safe@Last show, to be held at Rotherham Civic Theatre on February 10. They will perform three of their favourite pieces together.
“Playing with Robbie is wonderful because he has a real sensitivity when he plays and listens better than many adults,” said Mr Gyte.
And although the clarinet is by far his favourite, Robbie is already busy learning the piano, saxophone and guitar.
“Everyone here at the school rates him enormously.”
Robbie said he would love to be a musician when he grows up.
“It is a lot of work and there are always days when I don’t feel like practising, but most of the time I love it,” he said.
Robbie’s teacher Roger Stamp has been teaching music for 40 years and says Robbie’s extreme talent with the clarinet was apparent early on.
“The clarinet comes relatively easy to him and he’s really mastered the instrument.
“His achievements in the national orchestra are wonderful - for him, for the school and for this community.
“If he continues to work hard, I believe the possibilities for Robbie are limitless.”
The Safe@Last show features an impressive team of local actors, singers, musicians and dancers performing everything from West End shownumbers and comedy routines to classical music pieces and belly dancing performances. It will raise money for the charity’s vital work with vulnerable children considered to be at risk of running away.
n For tickets, visit www.rotherham.gov.uk/theatres.