It was music to their ears when two brothers found out they had jointly won the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award.
James Conway, 17, and his younger brother Stephen, 13, from Robertsbridge, were nominated after they were chosen to play in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain 2018.
The pair attend Bennett Memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells. James has spent 10 years perfecting his talents on the cello and Stephen’s instrument of choice is the double bass, which he has played for seven years.
The Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award is sponsored by Sussex Coast College and the Hastings Observer Series.
The award is normally presented to one person aged 18 and under who has excelled in some way, but the judges made an exception for James and Stephen as they felt they were both worthy winners.
Justin Rollings, head of marketing and communications at Sussex Coast College, said: “I was very impressed to learn about James and Stephen’s musical talents as they would have been up against stiff competition to get into the National Youth Orchestra.”
Over Christmas, James and Stephen met with the whole orchestra and worked on finer musical details and then, together with their conductor, Sir Mark Elder, on music including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
The boys’ mum, Lynne Conway, said: “It was thrilling seeing both boys on the stage for the first time in Manchester as members of the orchestra. Having played their instruments since they were six, many hours of hard work had gone in to achieving their places and we knew how proud they were to be part of it all and we are just absolutely delighted to be able to share the excitement with them.”
As part of their award, James and Stephen will receive a complimentary meal for two and a £100 donation will be made to the charity of their choice.
To nominate someone for the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of who you are nominating and the reasons why.