Animate Orchestra flautist wins place at Junior Trinity

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Young Eltham flautist Harry Kitchener-Trevillion has earned a place at Trinity Laban's Junior Trinity.

Harry, 12, has played the flute in Animate Orchestra at Trinity Laban since the very first course back in Easter 2011 and is currently studying for his Bronze Arts Award. As well as playing for Animate in the recent South Riverside Showcase Concert, Harry also performed in the Blackheath Halls production of Britten's Noye's Fludde earlier this year. This summer, he will be taking part in the Inside Out Summer Jazz Project with jazz violinist Omar Puente, as part of Trinity Laban's "Transform" Programme organised by the Learning and Participation department, which offers progression opportunities for young musicians in local London boroughs.

Harry spoke to us about what he loves about music, Animate and his plans for the future:

What's the best thing about playing in Animate Orchestra?

The courses are so cool. I like the way we make the music our own and compose everything ourselves.

My Bronze Arts Award study is more formal. I had to review a concert, and later on we've got to do something on our artistic "Heroes and Heroines" - mine are Stevie Wonder, The Who's Pete Townsend and Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull.

How old were you when you started playing the flute? Do you play any other instruments?

I started playing flute when I was eight years old. I also sing and play a little bit of piano, just self-taught. I listen to a wide range of music, and I'll sing anything from Stevie Wonder to Frank Sinatra, but I especially like to sing jazz standards like Stormy Weather.

Do you get nervous when you perform? If yes, how do you combat those nerves?

I do get quite nervous, but it really depends on the situation. Deep breathing really helps, and I usually have some water. Sometimes I get more nervous performing to just one person, if they're really important, like at an audition.

What grade or level have you reached?

I'm Grade 4 Flute, but I had to learn the recorder first. I was actually asked to do violin at school, but I tried it out once and knew it wasn't for me. It's like in Ollivander's Wand Shop in Harry Potter where you have all the wands laid out and they choose you - it's like that with instruments.

How often (and for how long) do you practise?

I practice whenever I can.  I'm in Year 8 now and once you get into secondary school, everything changes - sometimes I feel like I can't fit stuff in, and homework's got to take priority. Mostly I practise for about an hour, and I also have singing and flute lessons once a week.

Tell us about how you applied to Junior Trinity.

I was quite nervous at my audition; I had to sing a show song, and I played two pieces on the flute - a modern piece by Mike Mower, and the first movement of Telemann's Sonata in F Major. Then I did an aural test, and I had a choice of scales to play too.

I was so pleased when I found out I'd been offered a place, I was really like, 'wow'. I didn't expect to get in. My mum didn't even think they'd got the right person!

What kind of music do you like to play?

Anything. At the moment I'm doing Coldplay's Paradise with a little band I set up. I've just found someone else to play djembe and my friend Jordan will play piano. That's why music's great, because you get to meet all these new people. It's not a big thing, just for a summer school concert, but it'll be good. It's a bit bonkers really; we're throwing a rap in there too.

What do you want to do when you leave school?

I really want to go to Trinity Laban to study music, because I'm in Junior Trinity. I just want to study loads of different stuff, I'd love to keep it quite open - I've always got an open mind for anything music-related.

But I study quite hard at school, I like maths as well and I really enjoy history. So what I'm going to do is study really hard at school so I've got a good foundation, because actually it's very hard to get a job as a musician.

If you could give one piece of advice to other aspiring young musicians, what would it be?

If there's anything out there - any projects, any lessons, advantages, maybe you want to take up a new instrument - just go for it. And use the web to research stuff too - there's this great charity called Youth Music UK and I use their website loads - it's great.

Junior Trinity is a Centre for Advanced Training in the Department for Education's Music and Dance Scheme.

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