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Fourth Year pupil performs with Nicola Benedetti

12 March 2020 | Tagged: Senior School, Music, Events

Fourth Year Pupil Helena Downie, a talented violinist, performs with Nicola Benedetti in fundraising concert. 

Helena who has been learning violin since age 6 applied, via video of herself playing, to be part of the Benedetti Sessions Weekend Workshops and was selected to be part of the advanced group and invited to perform with Nicola and the Benedetti Foundation Orchestra in the V & A Dundee at a fundraising concert. 

Helena said, 'I loved playing with world class musicians and learnt to relax and give it everything! I had to watch the conductor closely as there were many tempo changes but I watched Nicola a lot too as she is one of the best violinists in the world and so charismatic.' 

The amazing experience was topped off by Helena being able to meet her idol, Nicola, and world famous trumpeter and composer, Wynton Marsalis who composed Nicola's Grammy award winning Fiddle Dance suite. 

On the 7th and 8th of March, Helena took part in the weekend workshop in Caird Hall in Dundee where she worked on a mass piece (Bartok Romanian Folk Dances) that all players, from beginners to advanced, took part in, and on the second day worked with the advanced group to prepare a piece for the final concert (Elgar Introduction and Allegro). 

Helena said, 'The workshop was hard work but very enjoyable. Nicola was there the whole weekend and was so encouraging and kind. We learnt the importance of supporting each other and that it is okay to make mistakes as that's how we learn!'

Throughout the year the Benedetti Foundation have weekend workshops all around the UK, encouraging children at all levels to enjoy making music no matter what their financial background. The Foundation continuously fund raise with Nicolas help to ensure all children have access to the magic of creating music.

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