Spotlight on Jake and Elliott

NOFA definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone and I now feel able to speak openly and confidently to others. I always feel valued as a musician and know my contribution matters.
— Jake

Jake and Elliott are brothers at different stages of their National Orchestra for All journey. Jake is 18 years old, and having played the tenor horn with NOFA since 2015, he is now taking on a new role as an ambassador for NOFA. Elliott is 15, he plays the baritone and drums and is just about to join NOFA for the very first time. 

Music is everything to me. It is how I spend the majority of my time whether it be playing it, listening to it or reading about it. I love going to gigs and try to gain as much knowledge as I can.
— Elliott

Jake plays in several local brass bands and groups around his home in Durham, many of which are available through the assistance of the Durham Music Service. However, Jake’s experiences with NOFA have been formative, and have encouraged him to explore different genres of music with regards to his playing - “NOFA has offered such a diverse range of music to play it has opened my eyes to music I may never have looked at.” This is something Elliott is looking forward to about joining NOFA - the opportunity to play styles of music that are outside of his comfort zone and work with a variety of different people.

At the end of his time as a young NOFA musician and in his new role as ambassador, Jake looks back on his experience with NOFA as one that has helped shape him not only as a musician but as a person. He says he “very much feels part of the NOFA family” and his confidence has grown throughout his years playing in the group. This has also been noticed by Jake’s family, his brother Elliott says it is one of the reasons he is excited about joining NOFA - “I have seen how Jake has grown in confidence in his playing and socially so I would like to be part of that too.” Jake and Elliott’s mum also acknowledges how much NOFA has helped Jake’s confidence, in his music but also in himself which has prepared him for situations as he progresses in his musical career.

I have seen Jake grow in confidence both socially and musically. He is a frequent soloist for all the bands he plays for and does so with confidence. For him to now have the confidence to act as an ambassador for NOFA is fantastic. He is secure in his sense of self, confident in his world of music and how it forms who he is. This sense of confidence then continued throughout his audition process for music conservatoires, where he gained offers from every one he attended and takes his place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in September. I am certain his time in NOFA helped him to realise this could be achieved.
— Jake and Elliott's mum

After studying Music at RWCMD, Jake’s dream is to play professionally and conduct both brass bands and orchestra. Elliott, too, wants to go on to a career in music. His goals at the moment include playing in a metal band and studying sound engineering or music, in order to work professionally as a musician or in production in the future.

For Jake and Elliott’s parents, having both boys involved with NOFA continues to be a great opportunity to watch their sons grow and develop their musical and social in a safe and encouraging environment. They recall being “immediately impressed with the standard of organisation, information and contact from NOFA. All questions / queries answered promptly and everything considered for the well-being of kids involved. Extremely professional and reassuring for a worrying parent.” With Jake now an ambassador and Elliott joining as a NOFA member, we are very pleased that the enthusiasm and love of music-making runs in the Haygarth family, and that they are both part of the NOFA family!