Sophie Auster, Haileybury’s senior clarinettist, has been selected to perform in the National Youth Wind Orchestra.
The audition took place on 2 November at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Sophie says she went feeling hopeful as she felt her pieces were as good as she could make them.
"However, on entering the room, I immediately felt as though I were in the wrong place. I tried to suppress my fear and the audition went well, but I came out certain that there was no hope for me, at least not this year. I had applied for the audition last year through the help of my clarinet teacher but the dates did not fit and it was decided I was not quite mature enough.
"Gaining a Grade VIII distinction in spring 2003 boosted my confidence to try this year. Yet, after the audition I came away thinking it had all been a big mistake. To my complete and utter surprise I received a letter a week later congratulating me on my entrance to the wind orchestra. I was elated and so too were my parents!"
The next step for Sophie is the course that takes place for 10 days next Easter at Radley College in Oxford. At the end of a week of intensive music-making, the orchestra will perform a concert.
"I hope to come out a much improved player from this experience and I hope I will be able to keep up with everyone else! I must now spend much preparation on speeding up my sight-reading. Luckily I am in the School wind band and symphony orchestra so that should help!" she says.