Haywards Heath child prodigy wins place in top orchestra

Young cellist Suzannah Clark, aged eight, who has been given a place in the National Children's Orchestra. Pictures with her teacher Kay Tucker of Stringbabies - picture submitted
Young cellist Suzannah Clark, aged eight, who has been given a place in the National Children's Orchestra. Pictures with her teacher Kay Tucker of Stringbabies - picture submitted

An eight year old cellist from Haywards Heath has been awarded a place in the prestigious National Children’s Orchestra.

Tipped by her tutor as ‘one to watch’ when she first came to her aged three and a half, Suzannah Clark, has also gained distinction in her Grade 6 exam after winning a music scholarship for Burgess Hill School last year.

Her cello is sponsored by Soundpost, the UK’s second largest distributor of bowed string instruments and she has regularly won cups at the Mid Sussex Music Festival for being the most promising string player in her age group.

Suzannah said: “My favourite pieces are fast and lively pieces. My favourite composer is Tchaikovsky. At the moment I am learning Bach’s first cello suite”.

She added: “I also love composing and arranging music.

“I have done an arrangement the Lincolnshire Poacher, a duet, and composed a short piece called The Palomino And Chestnut Stallions.”

Suzannah has lessons with Kay Tucker, founder of Stringbabies. As an adjudicator of festivals she sees other young musicians perform around the country and within months of teaching Suzannah she knew she had exceptional talent.

Kay said: “She’s by far the most naturally gifted child I have taught. She’s easy to teach on one level because she is so gifted, but I am having to work hard to make sure she can fulfil her potential and continually keep her challenged.

“She really does love making music. One of the challenges with children is getting them to comprehend music from an early age.

“Her mother brought her to me having heard of the success of Stringbabies and sure enough this little lady was able to pick it up. She was reading music fluently before school age and was playing Grade 1 level piece at the age of five.”

Mum Clare added: “We are delighted with Suzannah’s progress and are so grateful to Kay for enabling Suzannah to develop her talent.”