FORMER James Hargest College pupil Finn Bodkin, of Invercargill, left town on Monday to play percussion for the National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand – but the talented 19 year old has also been selected to play the oboe for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) National Youth Orchestra.
Bodkin will play percussion with the National Youth Brass Band in Nelson, Westport, Marlborough and Blenheim this week.
He will play oboe for the NZSO National Youth Orchestra in Christchurch and Wellington on February 4 and 5.
NZSO principle trombonist David Bremner said the youth orchestra was “really the cream of the crop” of young musicians.
“There’s such an incredibly high standard, it’s a great achievement to be selected.”
Bodkin said he was selected out of about 50 applicants from throughout New Zealand.
He planned to focus on playing the oboe and hoped to make an international career of it.
Being selected for the youth orchestra was a great step towards this, he said.
“I’m just really excited to be playing at that level.”
Bodkin began playing the oboe when he was about 8 and has just finished his first year of study at Victoria University’s New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.
His mother, Sally Bodkin-Allen, programme manager for music at the Southern Institute of Technology, has encouraged her son’s musical talents from an early age.
“Finn practises a lot at both percussion and oboe. He’s very dedicated and hard working,” she said.
Bodkin said when learning an instrument, it was important to keep on inspiring yourself.
He took inspiration from watching professional oboe players on You Tube, he said.