Oh boy, oboe: Talented Larbert High School musician earns a place in Great Britain youth orchestra
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S5 pupil Esther Kallow, 16, travelled down to Manchester earlier this year and let her talents shine through during an intensive audition process, impressing the panel of selectors so much she is now a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for a whole year.
"She’s so quiet,” said mum Helen. “But she is very excited about the youth orchestra opportunity. This is what she wants to do for a living.”
Esther lets the oboe do the talking for her – never happier than when she is surrounded by her fellow musicians and making Helen, dad Jonathan, 47, big brother Joseph, 18, and little sister Rhona, 13, proud at the same time.
Helen, 46, said: “She started off with piano and recorder and took up the oboe when she was 10. She didn’t want to play the oboe specifically, she just wanted to be in an orchestra – play anything as long as she was doing it in an orchestra.”
That dream came true when the former Ladeside Primary School pupil made it into the National Youth Choir of Scotland and has now moved up to another level with her new role.
Having achieved a grade eight proficiency on her instrument, Esther sent down a video of her performing to the Great Britan orchestra representatives, who then invited her down to Manchester.
Esther will be travelling south again to Lancaster later in the year to take part in the youth orchestra’s inspire initiative – something she attended last year as an aspiring musician and now will be giving other youngsters the benefit of her expertise as a youth orchestra ambassador.
She will be a member of the orchestra from this month right through to summer 2024 – taking part in a number of concerts throughout the UK at the start of the year, in spring and in summer.
When she is not studying at Larbert High or playing the oboe at the Junior Conservatoire in Glasgow – or the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for that matter –Esther can be found playing the piano for Larbert Baptist Church.