Meet the Junior Artists 2017
We are excited to be working with the following talented young musicians in our pilot year of the LPO Junior Artists programme.
Bethany Crouch is a clarinettist studying with Jessie Grimes at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. She is currently taking A Level Music and Music Technology at the East Sussex Academy of Music alongside Chemistry and Maths. Beth is part of the East Sussex Youth Orchestra, with whom she has toured abroad twice, and is currently in the Sinfonia orchestra at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. She will be involved in side-by-side rehearsals with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on violin in December. She is from a non-musical background and has a twin, who is also musically talented. Her mother is a single parent on a low income who struggles financially to enable Beth to pursue her musical ambitions. In the future, Beth would like to attend a conservatoire with the aim of becoming a professional orchestral player.
Daniel Swani began learning the flute aged 9 and had a 15 minute lesson each week with a local authority wind tutor, as this was the most his financial circumstances would allow. He grew up in east London attending local state schools until a government Music and Dance Scheme scholarship allowed him to accept a place at The Purcell School for sixth form. Daniel currently studies flute with Anna Pope and recorders with Barbara Law at the Junior Royal Academy of Music where he won the senior 'Woodwind Prize' and is principal flute in the symphony orchestra. He is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and has performed at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, and live on BBC Radio 3. From September 2017, Daniel will begin studying at the Royal Academy of Music as a full time student, where he has been awarded a scholarship. In the future he hopes to become a professional performing musician. Daniel has been generously supported by the Walter Bergmann fund and Felicity Belfield Trust.
Daria Phillips currently studies the bassoon with Robert Porter at Junior Guildhall. She is an active participant in a number of ensembles at her school and within her borough. Being of black Caribbean heritage Daria fulfils the LPO’s aim to promote diversity in orchestra music and so she is delighted to have been awarded a place on this programme. She also partakes in another initiative tackling the status quo in classical music today – Chineke!, where she is a member of the Junior Orchestra. Daria will be starting a degree at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in September, with the aim of pursuing a career as an orchestral bassoonist, alongside other musical activities.
Jesse Francis, 17, started playing violin (Suzuki method) at age 2. He is a former Chorister of Southwark Cathedral, and joined Bromley Youth Music Trust Orchestras aged 5, where he was involved in BYMT Concert Orchestra for talented musicians. Jesse won a place at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester in 2011, and has been part of several ensembles during the last few years there. In 2015 he switched to playing the viola, and recently achieved a distinction in his Grade 8 viola, though he still enjoys playing the violin occasionally. Jesse is a second study organist and he is currently working towards Grade 7. He has recently performed with his school’s Sinfonia at the Imperial War Museum’s centenary of the Battle of the Somme which was broadcast nationally on BBC2.
As part of his school’s Symphony Orchestra, Jesse has played at venues including the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and in collaboration with the Hallé Orchestra. He is also a viola player in the Chineke! Junior Orchestra founded by Chi-Chi Nwanoku, formed to encourage Black and Minority ethnic musicians to engage more in classical music. Jesse is currently studying A levels in Music, Music Technology and Drama, and intends to study Music at university or conservatoire. He also composes and produces his own popular/trap music under the banner of Sovereign Sound. As well as music, Jesse also loves sports, exercising and fashion.
Michael Hollette is a 16-year-old a bassoonist based in London. He currently attends New Hall School where he is studying for his A Levels as well as attending the Royal College of Music Junior Department. Both Michael's parents are of Caribbean origin and he feels people of his heritage are underrepresented in classical music. He has spent many years of his education playing classical music amongst people that do not look like him. Michael is hoping to gain a place at one of London's top music conservatoires to study bassoon at undergraduate level in 2018.
He is hoping to learn a lot from the LPO Junior Artists Programme - especially with the help of his mentor - as well as to inspire the next generation of young aspiring musicians.
Nathaniel Groves is a 15-year-old cellist. He attends Junior Trinity, where he plays in the Sinfonia Orchestra and string quartet, and is also in the senior strings, and the choir at his school: Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College. Nathaniel was born in the UK and is of a mixed background of part West Indian, part Indian. He is autistic, and believes that this label simply defines the way his brain works and how he learns – he sees it as a gift.
Nathaniel has a passion to learn, contribute, and make a difference in the world and believes he can do anything he puts his mind to. He sees LPO Junior Artists as an exciting platform, which will enable him to grow and transform his learning, which will hopefully in turn, touch, move and inspire other mixed ability children to explore the world of classical music. He brings passion, commitment, enthusiasm and colour to the LPO, and plans to contribute to this already amazing orchestra, as well as add to it, with his unique learning style.
Pasha Orleans-Foli studies clarinet (as well as saxophone) and classical guitar at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and she will be going on to study Modern Languages (French, Spanish and Portuguese) and Music at the University of Birmingham in September 2017.
While keeping busy with Head Girl duties at Woldingham School, she is also an active member of the Chineke! Junior Orchestra, formed to celebrate diversity in classical music, and has performed in a Wind Quartet on BBC Radio 3 with other junior members of Chineke! celebrating black and British musical talent.
Pasha is also a clarinettist in the National Youth Wind Orchestra, and in 2015 was an inaugural member of the BBC Proms Youth Ensemble, playing alongside the Aurora Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall. As well as being an enthusiastic and bubbly musician, Pasha also enjoys composing in her spare time for a variety of instruments, ensembles and genres: from a Jazz big band to music incorporating 20th century atonality. She is planning to continue music and keep it as an integral part of her future career as a linguist, maintaining her love of playing in ensembles and performing.
Thea Sayer studies at Peter Symonds Sixth Form College in Winchester where she was awarded a place on the Hampshire Specialist Music Course. She joined the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2016 and in her second year with the orchestra has been made a String Leader. She was born in Southampton and has Nigerian heritage: her maternal grandfather was from Nigeria. She started playing the double bass at her primary school and then moved to a local comprehensive school where opportunities for extracurricular music activities were very limited. However private lessons with David Heyes in Somerset have been inspirational and her goal is to pursue a career as a professional double bassist. Thea has just been awarded a scholarship to study double bass at the Royal Academy of Music from September.
LPO Junior Artists is generously supported by Virginia Slaymaker and an anonymous donor.