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Skipton's drummer boy

[Monday 15 December 2008]
airedale hospital
Max Heaton, 10, will be playing timpani in the
national children's orchestra

THREE years of banging the drum at Skipton Music Centre has paid off for ten-year-old Max Heaton.

Since the age of seven Max has been playing the timpani, snare drum and xylophone as a percussionist every Saturday morning at Skipton Music Centre.

The opportunity this has given for Max to take part in percussion ensembles and wind bands as well as the centre's junior big band, has proved invaluable in developing his skills. Now Max, who also plays with the Settle Orchestral Society, will be moving on to bigger things after passing his audition recently for the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain.

Max, who is a pupil of the Wharfedale Montessori School at Bolton Abbey, travelled to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for his audition. He will attend a residential course with the national orchestra next summer and will also play with the northern region orchestra once a month in Leeds.

North Yorkshire County Councillor John Watson, executive member for children's services said: "We are very proud of Max's achievements. The county council's music service, through its music centres, provides invaluable experience for children to enjoy playing music together and the opportunity for them to develop into top quality musicians."

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