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Pupil's trumpet success

Pupil's trumpet success

Jenny trumpets her way into Scotland’s top junior youth orchestra

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 15.25.11A KILGRASTON schoolgirl has secured a top spot in a flagship Scottish orchestra after a successful audition on the trumpet.

Jenny Whitaker, 12, a music scholar from the Prep School, was selected for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Juniors, which scouted for talent around the country between September and Christmas.

The Lower 4th pupil from Crieff was chosen from hundreds of young musicians who auditioned in towns and cities throughout Scotland. Violinist Nicola Benedetti is a former leader of the junior orchestra and performers from the senior orchestra including the virtuoso percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie have gone on to enjoy professional careers.

Kilgraston’s Director of Music, Andrew McGarva, said: “I am delighted that Jenny has been successful with her audition for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. To gain a place in the trumpet section is a wonderful feat because there are so few places available in an orchestra for brass players.

“As one of our talented music scholars Jenny is heavily involved in so much music making at Kilgraston and this achievement certainly recognises her abilities.”

The youngster, who also plays the cornet, the piano and sings, will get the chance to perform at top venues throughout the UK following an intense period of training with the orchestra starting in the Spring.

Her mother, Hilary, who teaches her daughter brass, is a keen musician and has played the euphonium and baritone with leading Scottish brass bands, performing around the country and at London’s Albert Hall. In 2012, she also revived Crieff’s brass band, which had folded in the 1980s, particularly encouraging adults to return to playing alongside their children.

The primary school teacher revealed how Jenny and her older sister, Lucy, 14, also a music scholar at Kilgraston, developed a love of music at an early age after watching their mother perform.

“When the girls were little, they regularly attended my concerts,” said Mrs Whitaker. “The whole music hobby has broadened their horizons. Jenny became very interested in playing brass and Lucy took up the violin, piano and singing. I’m very proud of what they’ve both achieved. It’s been a big commitment for Jenny to reach her standard in brass so young.”

Jenny, who started playing brass at the age of eight, will also be performing with the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland this August in St Andrews. She said: “My mum has encouraged me all the way and we’ve met many lovely people through brass banding. I’m really looking forward to joining the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland to learn more challenging music and to meet new friends.”

Lissie Cook, 13, another Kilgraston music scholar, was also celebrating after gaining a place in the string training orchestra.

Kilgraston’s Principal, Frank Thompson, said: “Jenny and Lissie have shown considerable commitment to their music since joining Kilgraston. They’re both role models to our younger pupils. I would like to encourage other girls in Upper 3rd and above who have achieved a high standard academically or in music, sport and art to consider applying for scholarships at Kilgraston.

“For the first time, we will offer a community scholarship to a local girl who has made an outstanding contribution to the wider community. We will also offer an all-rounder scholarship to a girl who has demonstrated excellence in two or more areas.”


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