Meet our Scholar, Derrick from Newham

Derrick, who is nearly 13, is from Newham and began his scholarship in September 2013.

Derrick started learning the double bass aged 8 while at Gallion’s Primary School, and showed considerable talent in his school music lessons. It was clear that he was passionate about the double bass and he was a very dedicated pupil. To further his opportunities and support him and his family with the cost of ongoing music tuition and ensembles, his Primary School Music Coordinator considered him a suitable candidate for the London Music Fund Scholarship.

She told us that he was very passionate about music and would participate in any available opportunities; often coming to the music room to practise during his lunch breaks. With his scholarship, Derrick was able to have individual music lessons and access the ensembles and music groups which would previously have been out of his reach.

In the last four years Derrick has made remarkable progress. He is working towards his Grade 6, studies at Junior Trinity, regularly takes part in projects with the London Symphony Orchestra and is a part of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. We would also like to congratulate Derrick on winning the Jack Petchey Award for his excellence in music.

Following our graduation ceremony at City Hall in July, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, a London Music Fund Trustee and Ambassador, invited Derrick to perform with the Chineke! Junior Orchestra on stage at the Royal Festival Hall. This is a fantastic achievement and testament to his talent and hard work. Derrick told us:

‘I was challenged, when I joined the orchestral for rehearsals and the concert. Most of the other musicians in my section (double bass) were more advanced than me, so I tried very hard to play at the same level as them.  I felt good, and privileged while playing with them. We played music that you wouldn’t expect children our age to play. I enjoyed playing with the Chineke Junior Orchestra very much, eagerly looking forward to our next performance.’