What it’s like to play in the Christchurch Youth Orchestra

On Saturday 21 May the UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra had its first concert for 2016 called Metamorphosis. Student Claire Elliott shares her experience.

I’m Claire and I am the French Horn section leader  in the UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra (if you haven’t heard of the French Horn, it’s a brass instrument with lots of curly pipes and a big bell!)

Claire playing at the concert (far right).
Claire playing at the concert (far right).

We began the concert with the famous William Tell Overture by Rossini. If you think of horse racing and galloping towards a finish line, you are probably singing the right melody! Next, all the brass, woodwind and percussion left the stage for the strings to play the beautiful Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams. I can’t say I heard much of it from backstage, but from the applause I gathered it was a success. The concert band piece The Year of the Dragon by Sparke was next. This was fun to play with varying styles and rhythms throughout. Finally, the first half ended with two Hungarian Dances by Brahms. These had to be my favourite of the whole programme.

The second half consisted of Symphony Metamorphosis by Hindemith, a piece with four very different movements. My favourite was the fourth because the whole French Horn section plays a jubilant melody which rings out over the rest of the orchestra! Everyone was glad when we made it to the end and heard the applause of the audience (my lips were especially happy not to have to play any more high notes!) And that was the end of our concert! Now to start preparing for the next one…


Have a voice! Tell us what you're thinking...