Winterfold Pupil Offered Place in National Children’s Orchestra

19 Jan 2018

Congratulations to Willem Van de Heuvel-Berkers who has been offered a place as a full member of the National Children’s Orchestra.

Nine year old Willem, a pupil at Winterfold School, Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire, studies violin, singing and piano and is the only young person of this age group to have been offered full membership from the Conservatoire this year. He started playing the violin 3 ½ years ago as a member of the Young Strings at Birmingham Conservatoire, which he attends every Saturday morning. As part of his programme, Willem has individual violin lessons with Selina Hamilton, attends the Suzuki violin group, Young Strings Orchestra, Dalcroze Choir and individual singing lessons.

At Winterfold, Willem plays with the Junior and Senior String group and School Orchestra and studies piano with the Head of Music Jerry Price. It comes as no surprise that his favourite lesson at school is music!

Willem competed in the Northfield Festival of Music & Speech in 2016 & 2017, winning a strings class both years running, as well as being a joint winner at Winterfold’s Junior Music Competition in 2017.

Willem is very excited to have been offered a place in the National Children’s Orchestra. As part of the audition, he had to perform two contrasting pieces and play two pieces of sight reading. He will attend his first NCO monthly regional rehearsal in February and as a member of the National Orchestra, he will also attend a residential training course during the summer holidays.

Commenting on the news, Willem said “I’m looking forward to making lots of new friends at the NCO who love playing in orchestras like me”.