A 17-year-old from Codicote has won a coveted place in the prestigious National Youth Orchestra and is looking forward to touring the UK and America in 2019.

Flautist Sam Frith is one of 164 teenagers to be chosen from 710 musicians who auditioned for a place in the orchestra for the coming year.

The orchestra exists to give breakthrough experiences of orchestral music to teenage musicians of all backgrounds.

Sam said: “The NYO is the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers and I will take part in this exciting orchestra, which is planning to tour the USA - the first time in its 70-year history.”

Sam, who has been playing the flute for eight years, is a pupil at The John Henry Newman School in Stevenage and also studies in the junior department of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He said: “I’m really excited to be part of the National Youth Orchestra because it will provide me with the opportunity to develop my orchestral playing alongside other dedicated young musicians, and to play fantastic repertoire in some of the best venues in the UK.

“I am looking forward to learning from world class tutors and conductors throughout my time in the orchestra.

“I also get the incredible opportunity to work with and encourage aspiring young musicians through National Youth Orchestra’s Inspire days and ensembles, which will help improve my leadership skills and allow me to pass on my knowledge of orchestral playing to other young people.”

As part of NYO Inspire, which provides targeted pathways for musicians from state schools, NYO musicians will volunteer their time to engage with committed teenage musicians who lack opportunities to advance their playing.

NYO 2019 will meet for the first time this month, rehearsing in residence at the University of Warwick.

They will tour major UK concert halls and give a debut performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall as part of the American tour.

Dame Liz Forgan DBE, chairman of NYO, said: “This is a great opportunity to put the UK’s famous National Youth Orchestra to a world stage. Everyone in and around NYO will be busy fundraising to support the tour.”