A WINTERFOLD School student has become the first of his age group to be offered a place as a full member of the National Children’s Orchestra this year.
Willem Van de Heuvel-Berkers, who goes to the school in Chaddesley Corbett, studies violin, singing and piano.
The nine-year-old 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.
Willem picked up the violin more than three years ago as a member of the Young Strings at Birmingham Conservatoire, which he attends every Saturday morning.
As part of his programme he has individual violin lessons with Selina Hamilton, attends the Suzuki violin group, Young Strings Orchestra, Dalcroze Choir and has individual singing lessons.
Willem also competed in the Northfield Festival of Music and Speech in 2016 and 2017, winning a strings class both years running, as well as being a joint winner at Winterfold’s Junior Music Competition in 2017.
He said: “I’m looking forward to making lots of new friends at the NCO who love playing in orchestras like me.”