A teenage cellist will be playing for the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee lunch today.
Ellen Porter, 13, has been rewarded for years of hard work by being picked to perform with the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain (NCO) in Westminster Hall today.
Ellen, of Chandler Gardens, Thrapston, has been playing the cello for five years and will also entertain 700 guests, including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
She said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, unique and so exciting.
“It is such a prestigious event, and something we will all be able to remember for the rest of our lives whatever we do in the future.
“I can’t wait to play for Her Majesty the Queen, as it will be an incredible experience and such an honour.
“It will be made even better by the fact that I have all my friends from the NCO around me to share in the day.”
Ellen, a student at Prince William School in Oundle, belongs to the NCO’s Main Orchestra, made up of more than 100 young musicians aged 12 to 14 years old and drawn from every corner of the UK. And she also recently achieved a distinction in her grade eight cello exam.
Her father, Sean Porter, said: “We’re very proud of her. Both me and my wife, Marian, trained as professional musicians so poor Ellen is hassled by us as well as her teachers.
“She works so hard. She does hours and hours of practice every day and would probably rather sit and play the cello all day than go to school.
“I’m a cellist too so we play together sometimes. Her mother is a teacher at Prince William School and an opera singer so we have a rather noisy house.”
Mr Porter, principal cellist for the City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, said Ellen also wants to be an orchestral cellist when she grows up.
Ellen faced a tough audition process for her place in the NCO, playing two pieces of music scrutinised by adjudicators. Auditions for a place in one of the NCO’s 2012 orchestras are now closed, but will reopen for 2013 later this month.
For details about the NCO visit www.nco.org.uk or call 01934 418855.