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City of Belfast Youth Orchestra

CBYO former Member profile No.10 David Bennett - Bassoon 2007-2011

Every few weeks we will be profiling a former member of CBYO and catching up with what they have been doing since leaving the orchestra. We aim to start with recent members and work back through the last 59 years !

Profile No.10 David Bennett - Bassoon 2007-2011

My name is David Bennett and I played bassoon in the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra for four years, from 2007 to 2011.

I really enjoyed my time in the orchestra, especially when we got the opportunity to tour abroad. While I was a member I was able to take part in concerts in Italy, Slovenia and France and performed in some brilliant venues including the Madeleine Cathedral in Paris and the Royal Albert Hall in London. As orchestral manager, Robert Briscoe always puts a huge amount of work into organizing these tours and they are always great experiences for the members of the orchestra.

I think that one of the best things about CBYO is that it isn’t afraid to take on big repertoire, and during my time there we played some of the great symphonies by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Conductor Paul McBride’s leadership is exceptional and he really encourages and inspires young musicians. The sectional coaching provided by members of the Ulster Orchestra is also invaluable.

CBYO is a very friendly and welcoming group and I met some brilliant people there. Each year the orchestra gives several students the chance to play solo concertos with the orchestra and these were always highlights; I particularly remember accompanying performances of the Elgar cello concerto and the Arutunian trumpet concerto, and hearing Czardas arranged for tuba! I also enjoyed playing the Weber bassoon concerto in Belfast and on tour in France.

Since leaving the orchestra to study at Selwyn College, Cambridge, I’ve continued with orchestral playing, as well as performing a lot of chamber music with my wind quintet, and taking lessons at the Royal Academy of Music. With CBYO now in its 60th anniversary year, I am looking forward to playing in the alumni concert at Christmas and seeing lots of old friends there too.

Posted by robert.briscoe on the Wednesday, 22 October 2014