Around 1,200 children aged 7-14 are thought to have applied for this year’s National Children’s Orchestra. This illustrious orchestra only offers places to the most musically talented children in the UK.

Berkhamsted Prep’s Madeleine Murray (cello) and Beatrice Murray (violin) have been offered places at the ‘world class’ institution for 2018.  Beatrice joins the Training Orchestra and Madeleine joins the Under 11s Orchestra.

Madeleine (Year 6) successfully retained her place for a second year, while her younger sibling Beatrice (Year 4) has joined the Orchestra for the first time.   In addition, cellist Freddie Carter (Year 8) also retained his place for a second year.

Developing talent

These pupils will benefit from training with highly talented professionals, residential courses and experience playing at the finest venues in the country throughout the year.  They will perform a repertoire drawn from Classical, Romantic, 20th and 21st century music.

Madeleine said “The first year of National Children’s Orchestra has been a fantastic experience. I’m very pleased to successfully audition again, and excited for Beatrice to be joining too”

Madeleine also auditioned for the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music in December and was instantly offered a place. She will attend cello lessons, musicianship classes and play in the String Orchestra and in a chamber group. She will also sing in a choir.

Both girls have been developing their technical talent and passion for music from an early age. Madeleine recalls playing a size cello when she was four years old, and now she plays a 1/2 size which she practices on every day for around an hour.

Prep Headmaster Jamie Hornshaw said ‘The National Children’s Orchestra sets an exceptional standard of music for youngsters and this is the third year in a row that Berkhamsted Prep pupils will have represented them; for two sisters to have achieved it this year is truly remarkable. Their dedication, perseverance and love of music is unrivalled and both girls captivate their audiences whenever they perform. We wish them continued success and enjoyment and look forward to hearing them play in the forthcoming musical events during the rest of the academic year.’