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Dedication to a musical instrument can be a lonely task, but as Blue Coat student Hugh McCormick, of Yr 11, discovered, joining an orchestra can be a transformative experience.

His hard work has been repaid with a place in Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and he said: “It’s a great experience. Not only because it’s one of the best in the country, but also because there are other double bass players to talk to and share experiences with. In school you’re usually the only one – it’s a lonely instrument!”

Thanks to having weekly lessons at School for the last five years with Mr Duffy, he reached the required standard to pass the Philharmonic Youth Orchestra audition and has now played in his first concert.

“The Philharmonic Hall’s acoustics are very good and it’s wonderful to enjoy them now as a player and hear how far I can make a note go,” he said.

“I first got interested in the double bass when the Year 7 tutors showed off their instruments. I always thought it looked cool, although it’s so big, as I prefer strings. It’s also great for pushing your way down a crowded corridor!”

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