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NOT ENOUGH VIOLA PLAYERS.
There is currently a national
shortage of viola players in Britain.
For those playing the instrument (larger in size and deeper
in tone than the violin), 1.
Places in orchestras and on music courses are more readily
available for them than for the larger numbers of violinists.
Last weekend, for example, the National Children's Orchestra
(NCO) began rehearsals with viola places still vacant.
'Violists are in short supply,' says Vivienne Price, the NCO's
founder and vice-president.
'People all want to be first violin but 2
All the different kinds are required, not just one.'
With more than 300 of the
country's top violinists competing for 170 places in the NCO
this year, standards were very high, even for the training
section, which takes seven to ten-year-olds.
But there were just 63 competing for the NCO`s 70 viola positions
and, as a result, candidates who have not reached the same
standard as those applying for the violin places were accepted.
'We encourage children to apply for the training orchestra,
,' says Miss Price.
Peter Hewitt, director of
the junior department of the Royal College of Music, says
with 24 players, but there are many more violinists.
'Younger children particularly like the glamour of the melody
line, and the bass line has its attractions,' he says.
'But the middle line, which is played by the viola, is a problem.
I think the viola has a gorgeous sound, but 5.'
Both the Royal College and
the NCO are trying to encourage children to take up the viola.
'It really frustrates me,' says Roger Clarkson, the NCO's
director of music.
'People will say that, if you can't play the violin, 6.
But the viola is actually a wonderful instrument in its own
A. it has always been
an instrument people have avoided B. if lots of violinists decide to change to the viola C. even if they are not as far advanced D. you should go on to the viola E. there are plenty of opportunities in a variety of
organisations F. it is currently 'reasonably well off' for violas G. they should realise it is like voices in a choir