Friends in music across the country

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Two Lewis boys are celebrating good news this week. Alasdair Marnoch of Aird Tong and Donald Martin of Stornoway have been selected for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Senior Orchestra.

Alasdair (violin) and Donald (double bass) are taught by Neil Johnstone of Willowcroft Music.

Neil told us: “Both boys are very talented and work hard. There will have been many candidates from all over Scotland for NYOS and many will attend specialist music schools.

“Places are highly sought after, so being selected for the first ever NYOS Senior Orchestra is a real success. Playing in an ensemble is such an important part in every child’S musical education and it is therefore a great opportunity for the boys.”

Donald moved here with his family about 18 months ago. When he and Alasdair shared a class at The Nicolson, they realised they knew each other from a NYOS String Training Course they had both participated in when they were 10.

Last year, along with Alasdair’s brother Gavin, who is now studying at St. Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh and formerly with Neil Johnstone, they were in the National Children’s Orchestra. Their work with NYOS means they have friends all over the country all sharing a common interest.

The boys will have three mainland trips this year to Glasgow, Perthshire and Edinburgh for rehearsal courses, with concerts in Edinburgh and Glasgow at Easter and in the summer.