Top young musicians from the County Borough have successfully auditioned for places in the National Youth Ensembles.
The school pupils are all committed members to various bands, orchestras and choirs run by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Music Services Department.
A total of seventeen pupils have successfully won places in either the National Youth Choir of Wales, National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Wales, and the National Youth Training Choir of Wales, with two achieving places with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.
They all underwent a stringent audition as competition for places is extremely steep. Belonging to one of the National Ensembles means intense rehearsals at residential courses throughout Wales and a series of concerts around the country.
One of the first residential courses takes place during the coming Half Term holidays in February.
Trombonist Gareth Robinson, a former pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun and Violinist Eleri Tudor a former pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari were both successful in auditioning for the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.
The National Youth Training Choir of Wales saw seven local school pupils gain entry and all of them are dedicated members of the RCT Youth Chorus which meets every Thursday evening at Pontypridd High School from 6-8p.m. Nicoletta Allen, Mitchell Rees and Siobhan Ivins from Cardinal Newman High School; Lewis Bowen from Mountain Ash Comprehensive; Ellie Davies from Aberdare Girls Comprehensive; Luke Davies from Treorchy Comprehensive and Michael McGrinder from Hawthorn High all secured places in the ranks.
Huw Cook and Nathan Dearden, both from Tonyrefail Comprehensive, and Huw Blainey and Tomos Watkins from Y.G Garth Olwg all secured places in the National Youth Choir along with Kate Williams from Pontypridd High who secured a reserve place.
Daniel Richards from Hawthorn High and Nathan Jones from Blaengwawr Comprehensive secured places on the National Youth Jazz Orchestra through the Access Course and Aeddan Williams formerly of Y.G Y Cymer secured a reserve place.
Membership to the National Ensembles is dependent on membership of County ensembles, orchestras, bands and choirs. Past National members include Bryn Terfyl and Katherine Jenkins. Rhondda Cynon Taf Music Service runs 20 different groups every week. Further details can be obtained from the Music Service on: 01443 744017.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Eudine Hanagan, said: “The wealth of talent in the County Borough is phenomenal and I applaud all the players for their dedication and their teachers for inspiring them to enjoy the benefits which music has to offer.
“They are excellent ambassadors for Rhondda Cynon Taf, a County Borough that has long-since been recognised as the starting point of many world famous choirs, bands, singers and instrumentalists.
“I hope that they will follow such successful paths due to their hard work and commitment to their musical organisations and wish them well for the future.”