After only learning to play the trombone five years ago, 14-year-old Lucy Patterson, from St Albans, can’t believe her luck at being awarded a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2017.

She will be performing in some of the biggest concert halls in the country alongside 162 other teenagers and is both the youngest trombone player in her section and the only girl.

Throughout the year, the National Youth Orchestra musicians will take part in three residencies with different music directors, as well as perform eight concerts, play live on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and release a new recording of The Planets.

Lucy, who attends the Purcell School of Music in Aldenham Road, Bushey, reveals where her passion for brass music began and explains how she will juggle schoolwork with performing in the orchestra…

How does it feel to be awarded a place in the National Youth Orchestra?

It feels amazing. I have heard about and watched the National Youth Orchestra since I was little and I cannot believe that I’m going to be part of such wonderful music making. It’s a dream come true.

Is it a difficult instrument to learn?

I would say any instrument is difficult to learn. It requires a lot of hard work and determination, as trying to play a piece of music without learning how to do the basic things is like trying to run a marathon with no training. I’ve dedicated my life to playing but I don’t regret one second of it. I’ve travelled to amazing places, met amazing people and done things that I could never have dreamed of. It’s worth the work.

What is your favourite song to play?

There’s no piece that I have ever played that I haven’t loved. I could never pick my favourite piece, but my favourite one I’m playing at the moment has to be Blue Bells of Scotland because I heard it for the first time when I was just little, played by my favourite trombone player, Joseph Alessi.

Do you know which shows you’ll be involved with the orchestra from January onwards?

On January 5, we are at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham playing Komarov’s Fall by Brett Dean, Szymanowski’s Symphony No.4 and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No.2. We will be conducted by John Wilson. On the January 6, we are playing at Symphony Hall in Birmingham and on January 7, we are at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

Will you perform in the orchestra alongside your studies at school?

Yes, it can be a really hard balancing act, so I have to be really organised with my time.

Where did your passion for music begin?

My dad is a trumpet player and my mum is an opera singer so I have grown up in a totally musical family. My dad is my main inspiration. He taught me from the beginning and still practices with me on a regular basis. I would not be the player I am today without him.

To find out more about the National Youth Orchestra, visit: