Whitecross woman gets ready for London

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Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Ulster Orchestra violinist Karen Sexton from Whitecross, County Armagh meets up with Ulster Youth Orchestra cellist, Lucy Hellawell and her Ulster Orchestra counterpart, cellist John Leeming ahead of the BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall in four weeks time

As the world gets ready for London 2012 and the biggest sporting event on the planet, Ulster Orchestra and Ulster Youth Orchestra players – including Whitecross’ Karen Sexton and 15-year-old cellist Lucy Hellawell from Belfast – prepare for the world’s biggest classical music festival, the BBC Proms, where the two orchestra’s will combine to make a super-orchestra of 150-plus players. Proms organisers this year have invited the national youth orchestras of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to perform with their ‘big brothers and sisters’ over the course of the first weekend in August. With rehearsals set for later this month, the countdown has begun with just four weeks to go to the Royal Albert Hall concert on 4th August. The prestigious event will see the Ulster Youth Orchestra make their Proms début performing with the Ulster Orchestra and Sir James Galway in the world première of Dark Hedges by one of Northern Ireland’s most successful composers, the County Antrim- born Elaine Agnew. “We play live to around 100,000 people giving between 80 to 90 concerts each year, but a Proms concert is always special. While this is our eleventh visit to the Proms since our début in 1985, JoAnn Falletta, our Principal Conductor and the Ulster Youth Orchestra will be making their first appearances this time round,” said Whitecross violin player Karen Sexton. The talented south Armagh woman added, “The fact that we will be giving a world première of a new work with James Galway, who makes his first appearance at a Prom in a decade, will make for a very special day, especially for the younger players and some of my colleagues who haven’t yet done a Prom.”    
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