Plaistow students perform with National Youth Orchestra

Students from Lister Community School and the National Youth Orchestra performed together (picture:

Students from Lister Community School and the National Youth Orchestra performed together (picture: David Levenson) - Credit: David Levenson

The first week back at school after the holidays can be dull, but not so for a group of Lister Community School students who had the chance to perform alongside some of the country’s most talented young musicians.

The National Youth Orchestra performing with Lister Community School students (picture: David Levens

The National Youth Orchestra performing with Lister Community School students (picture: David Levenson) - Credit: David Levenson

The National Youth Orchestra held an Inspire day at the St Mary’S Road school, with 70 Year 8 students learning to play Prokofiev’s fifth symphony alongside half of the orchestra.

They then showed off their skills in front of 400 of their peers with a special performance.

There was no space left on the balconies around the school’s agora as staff and students gathered to listen.

“We’ve got a good relationship with the National Youth Orchestra,” said Amy Haynes, the school’s director of music.

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“They came last year and it’s something we’d like to continue.”

After a shared lunch, where students were able to meet and talk with orchestra members, afternoon rehearsals saw the young musicians practice songs by Ed Sheeran and Etta James ahead of a performance to family members.

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This was opened up to musicians throughout the school and even saw a few talented teachers join in as well.

The visit was part of the National Youth Orchestra’s Play the School project, which sees them visit and perform with students at secondary schools around the country.

It wasn’t just about developing music skills, though, as a group of students helped to publicise the visit both in school and on social media.

“We had a team of young promoters, who were encouraging people to come to the performances,” said Amy.

“They were the ones putting pictures and videos up on Twitter, too.”

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