We had the pleasure of talking with Callum Davies last week about his amazing success of gaining a seat, for the second year running, with the National Youth Orchestra, playing the tuba. With over 700 applicants each year, from all across the UK, the NYO auditions and assesses each person and from those, awards 164 places to complete its orchestra.

Callum, who is a former student of ACE Academy, Tipton, first joined the NYO under the Inspire scheme which his former music teacher, Kate Williams, mentioned to him. NYO Inspire, provides teenage musicians who are playing to a grade 6 standard with a free opportunity to develop their orchestral playing. Callum relished the opportunity and it gave him the encouragement and passion he needed to push himself to develop as a musician and he decided to audition for the main NYO orchestra.

His first year in NYO was a culmination of performances at the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall and even the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC proms (which was televised, and greeted by 5 star reviews from many professional critics!). After securing a seat for the second year running, which in itself is a huge achievement, Callum is looking forward to the concerts in this years' programme and will play at venues such as the Royal Concert Hall, Notthingham, the Barbican, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Callum said: "Being in NYO means so much to me. For me, working with so many amazing musicians is a rare and special occasion, meaning that when I arrive, I just have to take a second to really appreciate the immense nature of the orchestra!"

Callum has an aim of becoming a professional musician and is looking to join a conservatoire once he finishes his A levels with us, in order to work on his exceptional musical talents and really hone his craft. We look forward to seeing his musical career develop and grow during his time with us.