Cellist Sergio Lands Leading Role in Youth Music

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Byline: David Whetstone

A SPANISH teenager who moved to Gateshead four years ago has landed one of the top roles in British youth music.

Sergio Serra, a pupil at Heworth Grange Comprehensive, has been appointed co-principal cellist of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

The talented musician is now looking forward to a season in which he will perform at the country's top concert halls, including The Sage Gateshead and London's Royal Albert Hall during the BBC Proms.

The 16-year-old is no stranger to these venues. He has been a National Youth Orchestra member for the past two years, performing at the BBC Proms and at Glastonbury this year.

But his progression from the back to the front rank of the 19-strong cello section means he will start the 2007/8 season with a new burden of responsibility.

Undaunted, he said yesterday: "There were two auditions, one regional and one in London in front of a panel. But it was OK.

"I am really looking forward to the new season because we are playing some big pieces and we will be working with some renowned conductors."

Sergio came to the North-East from Madrid when his father, Joan-Albert Serra, was appointed head of vocal and instrumental learning at The Sage Gateshead before the building was completed.

"Coming to a different place and a different culture, I was nervous and excited," recalled Sergio. …