THRILLING: Beth Stenlake and Evie Brenkley, both from Barnard Castle, who will play with Tees Valley Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, in New York ,in July
THRILLING: Beth Stenlake and Evie Brenkley, both from Barnard Castle, who will play with Tees Valley Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, in New York ,in July

TWO dale teenagers are preparing to take a bite out of the Big Apple this summer.

Evie Brenkley and Beth Stenlake are members of the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra (TVYO) which has been invited to play at Carnegie Hall, in New York, on July 11.

It marks the highlight of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary and is the culmination of a two-year fundraising campaign to finance the trip.

Beth, 13, a Teesdale School pupil, plays the cello and Evie, 15, who attends Barnard Castle School is an oboist. Both are excited at the prospect of playing in the world renowned concert venue.

Evie said: “To be given the chance to play in a venue such as Carnegie Hall is utterly thrilling – to be given the chance to play there alongside my best friends is an opportunity of which I thought I could only dream.”

Evie has been studying the oboe for four years after beginning her musical career on the recorder aged seven. She is principal oboe with Young Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead and about to sit her ARSM performance diploma having achieved distinction at Grade 8 in June 2018.

Beth, who was deputy head chorister at Durham Cathedral last year, is also a member of Quay Voices at Sage Gateshead. She started learning the cello with the Durham Music Service while at Green Lane CE Primary and passed Grade 5 with merit in March 2018.

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“I really love playing the cello because of its deep resonant sound. I joined TVYO last September and am really excited to be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, especially the trip to New York, with the opportunity to play in such a prestigious venue,” said Beth.

The orchestra’s 115 or so young musicians meet every Friday evening at Teesside High School, in Stockton, for rehearsal under the baton of Nicholas Nowicki.

The orchestra – one of the elite ensembles organised by Tees Valley Music Service (TVMS) – draws on the best young musicians from the North East and has often provided a stepping stone for students progressing to a career in music.

Getting the young musicians to Carnegie Hall has meant a massive fundraising project by both TVMS and the registered charity, Friends of TVYO. The students have also been doing their bit, organising a variety of events. Each of the girls has received a grant from The Marwood Trust of £300 and Evie is involved in an orchestra-led letter-writing campaign to friends, family and local businesses for the final fundraising push towards the £30,000 target.

“I want to say a big thank you to all who have donated to our appeal, especially Barnard Castle Rotary Club, Barnard Castle School, Allen Sykes and Addison's," added Evie.

Anyone wanting to help the orchestra by making a donation you can visit mydonate .bt.com/events/newyork2019 /451946 or use the link from the Facebook page – facebook .com/ftvyo/