Amy can't wait to play at Proms in Albert Hall
WHEN 18-year-old Amy Breen from Cleenish Park, Enniskillen, begins her Music with French degree at university this September her CV will already be brimming with personal achievements.
This Summer the talented musician will be taking her place with the Ulster Youth Orchestra (UYO) to perform in the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.
It's been a busy year so far for Amy.
Having finished her A-Level exams she waved goodbye to her years as a Collegiate Grammar School pupil, ready to embrace a new chapter in her life as a Queen's University student. And her summer is set to be even more hectic, now taking on her duties as a proud member of this year's UYO. Amy has been playing her beloved viola for a decade now.
"The viola is the instrument that I started with," she told The Impartial Reporter, "I chose it because it has a richer, deeper sound than the violin and you can play a lot of expressive, romantic music with it."
Her interest in orchestral playing first began when she joined the Fermanagh Intermediate String Orchestra at the age of 12. And it continued when she later became a member of the WELB Senior Youth Orchestra.
"I have been a part of the WELB Senior Youth Orchestra since 2008," she explained, "That's how I found out about the Ulster Youth Orchestra."
Like the many other UYO hopefuls, Amy attended an audition at the Belfast School of Music in December last.
"The audition was very hard," she said, "I thought I would buckle under the pressure but it actually went okay!"
And at the end of January she received confirmation that she had been successfully selected as a member of the Youth Orchestra this year.
"I was pretty excited," said Amy, "It means I get to be a part of the BBC Proms which is pretty amazing! We will be taking part in a concert in London at the beginning of August for it. I can't wait."
There will be plenty of hard work involved ahead of her Proms debut, though.
But having passed her Grade Eight viola exam in March with Distinction, there is no stopping the passionate violist.
She has already had the opportunity to train with two professional string quartets and other UYO members. And she will be journeying to Greenmount Agricultural College this weekend for a nine-day residential course ahead of two major events: Nest and the joint Prom concert with the Ulster Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall.
"I'm really enjoying it so far," said Amy, "I'm getting to meet new people and having lots of fun but it's challenging as well. The music is quite difficult and the rehearsals are quite long.
"But I am extremely excited to play in the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms!"
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 12 Jul 12