Spotlight on Deronne

Deronne White is one of NOFA’s founder members and played principal flute from NOFA’s first season in 2011 until 2014. Now about to embark on the next step in his career as part of the National Youth Orchestra, Deronne talks to us about how his experiences in NOFA have helped him develop both his musical and social skills.

NOFA: Why did you first want to learn the flute? 

Deronne: When I attended Highbury Grove School from year 7, I joined the Music Specialist School Programme, which was designed to teach and inspire young students towards music, especially classical music. Through this, I decided to learn the flute as I was drawn to its beautiful sound and the different tones and colours it could create.

NOFA: You were a member of NOFA from 2011-2014. What were the main musical skills you learned while in the orchestra?

Deronne: Through the experiences I had at NOFA, I learned how to be confident, committed, focused and dedicated. I feel that all of these attributes are necessary in being in an ensemble with other keen musicians as they help ensure that everyone feels great about what they can bring to the repertoire and how they can contribute to the sound that the whole ensemble makes.

NOFA: What social skills did you learn from being in NOFA?

Deronne: The social skills I learned include being considerate of others and being friendly. Being very sociable in a positive way with others will also help to contribute a positive feeling to the repertoire because we will enjoy being around each other and playing great music with each other.

As one of NOFA’s founder members, Deronne took part in the early Summer Courses at Warwick University before moving to Leeds University in 2014.

NOFA: What was you favourite NOFA memory?

Deronne: My favourite NOFA memory was being able to perform in Leeds Arena [in 2014] as it was a very massive venue, a lot of people came to watch us and our encore piece New York, New York was an amazing finish to the Summer Course.

After years of music lessons and orchestra rehearsals, along with many hours of practice, Deronne auditioned for the prestigious National Youth Orchestra in 2015 and was selected to join the orchestra in 2016.

NOFA: How do you think NOFA helped you prepare to make the transition into the National Youth Orchestra?

Deronne: NOFA helped me by giving me the most essential qualities of being an aspiring musician and also helping me to have a very open and passionate interest for classical music. From NOFA, I have been able to take all of the experiences and use them to develop my musicianship. Performing in the NOFA concerts truly showed my potential and what I could achieve in the future.

NOFA: Why do you think music is valuable, both for you personally and for society in general?

Deronne: I think music is valuable to me personally because it is something that I have found to be very keen and passionate for, and it is something that I feel that I am able to shine through and show my talent. Music should be something that everyone is able to discover and explore. I think music is very fun as it allows people to be creative and free in how they can express themselves

NOFA: What do you want to do after leaving school?

Deronne: After leaving school I hope to gain a place at a conservatoire to help me aspire to become a professional orchestral musician. I hope to gain a place at the Royal College of Music, where I will be able to receive excellent tuition for my flute playing and my general musicianship.

NOFA: What do you want to do as a profession?

Deronne: I want to become a professional orchestral musician, in the hope of being in orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. I would also love to be involved in contemporary classical music as I am interested and keen to be aware of how music is changing and evolving today.

We wish Deronne all the very best of luck as he embarks on his music career and look forward to welcoming him back one day as a guest artist!