A young east Antrim musician is eagerly anticipating her first trip to Europe with the Ulster Youth Orchestra.
Cellist Erin Peel has been selected to attend the annual summer course in preparation for concerts in Vienna, Bratislava and Belfast as the orchestra marks its 25th anniversary.
Erin, from Carrickfergus, said: “Nine years ago I lugged home my very first cello – a half size stentor, a school instrument which was battered and scraped and probably on its last legs. Little did I imagine that nine years later, cello would be my passion, and I would be heading off to perform in Vienna and Bratislava.
“In the past nine years I have been taught by a series of passionate and dedicated musicians; I have received professional feedback from sitting exams and masterclasses; I have have the chance to perform in every possible situation, from the primary school stage to the Ulster Hall, from shopping centres to Glenarm Castle with the NE area school’s symphony orchestra.
“I haven’t yet travelled to mainland Europe. Some people travel for the first time to sit on the beach, to soak up culture, to taste new foods. I am going to Europe this summer to play the cello, to perform.”
Concerts will be given in Vienna on August 21, Bratislava on August 22 and at the Ulster Hall, Belfast on August 25, 7.45pm. Tickets for the latter are £16.50/£6.00 concession: 028 9033 4455/ www.ulsterhall.co.uk and at the Ulster Hall box office on the evening of the concert.