Grace Lewis (Oboist)

My name is Gracie, I’m 17 years old and love to play the oboe alongside studying for my A levels – psychology, music and a practical course in performing arts. I have received an offer and been awarded a scholarship from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to study their music course starting in September this year, and I’m very excited for it. I have also been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales since 2019, and take part in regular rehearsals, concerts and residential courses with Gwent Youth Orchestra, (Gwent) Youth Wind Orchestra and Bristol Youth Orchestra. Being in these groups has enabled me to progress as a player, make lots of good friends and lead to exciting opportunities such as performing in the Royal Albert Hall in London for the Music For Youth Proms in 2018. I also love to sing (I currently direct Wyedean Gospel Choir) and play the saxophone as I am a big fan of jazz music, so I play at gigs with my hometown’s community big band and, until the Covid-19 pandemic started, Gwent Youth Big Band. I think it is incredibly important to appreciate all different kinds of music – it feels good to enjoy sophisticated classical works, dance around to musical theatre and pop, admire the creativity in improvisation in jazz and look forward to attending Reading festival all at the same time. The piece I have chosen for the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra’s Spring concert is Cimarosa’s oboe concerto, which is one of my favourites to play as I find his music written for woodwind solos to be very pretty and almost spiritual – the same reason I also enjoy works of Albinoni. My main goal is to achieve a creative career and inspire others to make and enjoy music. I feel privileged to have been invited to perform a concerto for the orchestra – an exciting opportunity I’m very grateful for. I hope you enjoy it.

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