Little drummer boy hits the right note

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A COLERAINE teenager is looking to drum up some support in the local community for his debut appearance with the Ulster Youth Orchestra later this month.

The Orchestra, which celebrates its 18th birthday this month, has assembled the cream of Ulster’s young musicians for their annual summer residency followed by public concerts in Londonderry and Coleraine.

Simply titled, Russian Masterpieces, the concerts will open in declamatory style with a rousing rendition of the Festive Overture by Shostakovich followed by what is possibly the most popular and romantic piano concerto in the the repertoire, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2.

And right in the middle of this sea of talent will be local boy, Andrew Collins, a percussionist who began his rather loud career with Coleraine Fife and Drum band at the tender age of eight.

“Nothing gives me the same buzz as sitting behind a drum kit or timpani, playing along with talented musicians.

“From a very young age, I’ve been drumming; whether it was pots and pans, cardboard boxes or the dinner table,” he told The Times.

“A few months ago, the NEELB percussion tutors encouraged me to attend a workshop provided by the Ulster Youth Orchestra.

“As a consequence I was offered a place in their summer residential, which I am really excited about.

“This will culminate with a concert in The Guildhall, Londonderry (19 August) and The Ulster Hall, Belfast (20 August).

“I can’t wait,” he added. “It has always been my dream to play at a large venue with a symphonic orchestra.”

Tickets, priced £12 (£5 concession), for the Guildhall concert can be obtained from the Millennium Forum box office, Londonderry.

Or online at www.millenniumforum.co.uk <http://www.millenniumforum.co.uk/> and for the Ulster Hall concert from www.belfastcity.gov.uk/ulsterhall <http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/ulsterhall> .