IF PLYMOUTH Music Accord (PMA) offered youngsters the latest piece of modern technology for free, it would no doubt be overwhelmed with takers.
As it is, the charity runs its own annual Young Musicians' Platform, which offers free help in setting up with a first recital, or in buying professional-grade instruments, and yet the take-up this year has been relatively poor, despite circulating local schools, peripatetic and private teachers.
PMA is looking for suitable young classical instrumentalists from the Plymouth area, normally aged under 20.
Singers, including those specialising in music theatre, but not pop music, are also invited to audition, and here the upper age limit may be extended slightly.
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The next auditions are scheduled for Friday, January 4, in the Plymouth University Sherwell Centre, with an early-evening start to be confirmed.
Aspiring artists perform for about 20 minutes, followed by an informal interview.
For further details, and an application form, contact Clive Jenkins on 01752 863348 or by email (email@example.com), as a matter of some urgency.
THERE are certain annual events on the local classical-music calendar that always seem to have a special significance.
Ever since its formation in 1998, the Ten Tors Orchestra has saved its final performance of the year for a special Gala Christmas Concert and, weather permitting, this year's event should seem even more festive given its close proximity to Christmas, on Saturday, December 22.
The orchestra, which is now the resident ensemble of Plymouth University's Peninsula Arts, returns to the picturesque moorland setting of Tavistock Parish Church at 7.30pm.
It will be joined by young tenor James Edwards, who recently toured with the Casta Diva production The Life, Loves and Music of Maria Callas, playing to large audiences across Ireland.
With a number of appearances as Don Jose, James would seem the perfect choice for some tear-jerking Puccini arias and, of course, from Bizet's Carmen.
Purists won't be disappointed either, when he sings with the specially-formed choir in selections from Handel's Messiah.
Also on this decidedly-seasonal menu are Rutter's Shepherd's Pipe Carol, together with some New Year offerings to include Strauss's Roses from the South Waltz, as well as Mozart's Haffner Symphony, and the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana.
Conductor Simon Ible said: "I've been saying to everyone, 'if it's the last Saturday in December, then it must be Christmas-time in Tavistock'.
"It's really Christmas wrapped in music – do bring all the family along and enjoy the seasonal spirit!"
Further details can be found online at Plymouth Classical Music Concert Diary.