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Budding young Holt violinists get top tips from the professionals in national music scheme

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:12 13 February 2017

Young members of violin group Holt Strings, who worked with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Young members of violin group Holt Strings, who worked with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

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A group of budding young violinists had a chance to hone their skills with musicians from one of the country’s top chamber orchestras, as part of an arts scheme hosted by North Norfolk District Council and a string of local organisations.

Young members of violin group Holt Strings, who worked with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL Young members of violin group Holt Strings, who worked with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

The youngsters are part of the Holt Strings, an 11-strong violin group led by Norfolk Music Service teacher Joanna Clinton and made up of pupils from north Norfolk schools at Holt, Corpusty, Sheringham, Fakenham and Stibbard.

Young members of violin group Holt Strings working with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL Young members of violin group Holt Strings working with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

The group meets weekly at Holt Primary School, where they were put through their paces by City of London Sinfonia violinist Rebecca Scott-Smissen and viola player Matt Maguire ahead of a concert staged by the orchestra at St Andrew’s Church in the town.

Young members of violin group Holt Strings, who worked with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL Young members of violin group Holt Strings, who worked with City of London Sinfonia musicians Rebecca Scott-Smissen and Matt Maguire as part of the national music scheme Orchestras Live. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

The pair’s visit, which was arranged by Phil Barrett of north Norfolk children’s arts charity Falcon, was part of a scheme run by Orchestras Live, a national music charity working with some of the country’s top musicians and local partners to deliver orchestral projects to rural and socially isolated areas all over the country.

Mr Barrett, who is a poet and former head of art at London-based specialist music school, said the scheme gave young people a “fantastic chance to hear quality music played by professionals”.

He added: “For us, it is about bringing great opportunities to children who might otherwise not get them and, what is also nice, is that the whole group got free tickets to the concert.”

North Norfolk District Council, which has been part of the project since 2012, this year hosted a trio of concerts, the final one of which will see Derbyshire-based orchestra Sinfonia Viva perform at Sheringham Little Theatre on March 4.

Councillor Becky Palmer, who is cabinet member for culture said: “This year’s concert series contiues to make a major contribution to the cultural life of the district and firmly underlines North Norfolk District Council’s commitment to the arts.”

Sinfonia Viva will be performing Flights of Fancy, featuring der Freischuts, by Carl Maria von Weber, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with narration by Simon Hollingworth, at Sheringham Little Theatre on March 4 at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £18 adults (£12 under 16s) are available from the box office on 01263 822347 or online at sheringhamlittletheatre.com

For more information about Falcon concerts and events, visit www.falcon-norfolk.org.uk

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