TWO highly-talented teen trumpeters are still pinching themselves about their "phenomenal" experience playing at The Royal Albert Hall during The Last Night of the Proms weekend.

Ulverston Victoria High School sixth formers David Griffiths, 16, and Abi Howie, 17, had the honour of playing at the prestigious London venue in the build up to the world-famous concert - with David actually performing on the big night to a TV audience of millions.

David, who is rated as one of the best young trumpeters in the country, was chosen to play in the BBC Proms Youth Ensemble who got the incredible opportunity to open the show.

The 14 to 21-year-olds performed side-by-side with BBC Symphony Orchestra members with direction from chief conductor Sakari Oramo. The combined forces performed the world premiere of Raze, a BBC commission by composer and past Proms Inspire winner Tom Harrold.

David, of Year 12, studies trumpet at the Royal Northern College of Music Saturday School and he passed his grade eight with distinction when he was in Year Nine. He is a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and principal trumpeter with the English Schools Orchestra.

David said: "We opened The Last Night of the Proms and it was amazing, it was a great experience and something I would definitely like to do again.

"It has inspired with me. I was sat next to Alan Thomas and Joseph Atkins, two trumpeters from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Sakari Oramo conducted us. It was great to work with them.

"I was nervous before, but once we got to the concert it was quite relaxed.

"The Royal Albert Hall was a great venue, I loved playing there. It was amazing."

David starting playing eight years ago at Penny Bridge Primary and progressed through UVHS and the various youth bands he is involved with. He plans to study at music college after sixth form.

"I started out playing as I thought it would be a good hobby and now I want to become a professional musician," he said.

He thanked everyone who made the experience possible.

Abi is still awestruck by her remarkable experience joining and playing alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios and then The Royal Albert Hall for a full run through of the schedule, including the ever popular and rousing finale favourites Rule, Britannia!, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem and Auld Lang Syne.

Abi achieved her grade eight exam with merit last year and she hopes to study at music college next year.

The teen was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 18 months old and she is a patient at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. She started playing brass instruments at primary school to help strengthen her lungs.

She was nominated for this rare opportunity last year by her nurses after having a tough year health-wise a couple of years ago. The Starlight Foundation made it happen.

She said: "It was just phenomenal, I can't believe I got to play with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on Proms weekend and I have been conducted by Sakari Oramo. The trumpet section was amazing.

"I really enjoyed Rule, Britannia! and the sound of the music and the choir on Jerusalem and Auld Lang Syne was amazing.

"It was a once-in-life-time opportunity."

The orchestra said that Abi was braver than most music college students who have rehearsed with them.

"They described me as gung-ho and said there was no stopping me from playing. I was not scared, I was just loving every minute of it. It was phenomenal and that experience has made me want a music career even more. I will practise like crazy to get into music college."

Abi said the resistance from the trumpet and the negative pressure is good for the lungs.

Speaking about how music had helped her condition, Abi said: "Other people do sport, but music is the thing for me. I see it as a test, I push my lungs as far as they can go.

"Cystic fibrosis is a big part of my life, but music is a much bigger part.

"In order to keep myself well enough to do what I love, I need to do what I love to keep myself well."

Abi said she is "very grateful and thankful" to the nurses for nominating her and Stephanie from the Starlight Foundation for making it happen, and that she owes a "massive thank you" to BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Abi said that the "fantastic" UVHS music department is where she found her passion.

David and Abi play in the UVHS Swing Band, Wind Band, Jazz Combo, Show Band and Brass Ensemble.

This summer they performed in Salzburg, Austria with school and they have played with the Royal Marines Band.

Richard Butler, head of performing arts at UVHS, said he is "very jealous".

Mr Butler said: "I'm really proud of the pair of them. This is a once-in-a-life-time experience, and to have two students from the same school doing this is amazing."

He said they are exceptional students and musicians.

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