The past few months have been busy and successful for 16 year old Alex, a specialist double bassist at Wells, who is one of ten Wells musicians in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO). Their first residency in Nottingham, just after Christmas, culminated in a series of sell-out concerts, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, in Nottingham and at London’s Barbican Centre. At the end of January Alex performed in three classes at the Oxford Music Festival. The high standard of double bass tuition and playing in Wells was confirmed when Alex received ‘outstanding’ for each class, winning all three, notably the ’35 and under Orchestral Instrument Award’ which included a cash prize. He was invited to perform at the Gala Festival Concert at St Hilda’s College Oxford in February where he was presented with the prestigious Strings Cup by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Jean Fooks. Alex has also progressed to the final of the 2018 Galicia Graves Double Bass Competition which will be held on Friday 9th March at the Conservatorio de Culleredo in Spain. David Heyes, specialist double bass teacher at Wells, is a juror and guest soloist/teacher of the festival but will be unable to vote when Alex plays in the grand final. David was the Featured Composer at the 2017 festival and competition. Alex will play against four bassists from Spain, Argentina and China, is the youngest bassist in the final, and will perform two exciting virtuoso works for unaccompanied double bass by Andres Martin and David Anderson. We wish him every success!