Nine-year-old Joel Solomons has landed a dream place in the under-11 division of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.
Joel, a pupil at Aldenham Preparatory School in Hertfordshire, was one of four clarinetists to be selected from more than 800 hopefuls.
From January, he will attend monthly rehearsals and next year participate in a one-week residential course, where he will receive intensive tuition, performing a concert at the end of the week.
“I really can’t believe it,” says Joel, who began playing the clarinet two years ago. He tells People: “I love the tone and range of sounds it can make. It all feels a bit strange because I didn’t think I would get in. I only went to the audition for the experience.” He says he is most excited about playing in a full symphony orchestra. “I’ve never played with the strings before.”
The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain comprises five age-banded orchestras. In August, Joel will perform at a gala concert the Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Former members of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain include violinist Nicola Benedetti and conductor Daniel Harding.
What is Joel’s next goal? “To get a distinction at my grade six exam in March, and do some more public concerts with solo parts.”
Joel is a member of St Albans Masorti Synagogue.