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NYO alumni 1960s

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Phillip Mungeam

Instrument and dates
Violin 1967 – 1968

Occupation
Former TV hairdresser and celebrity stylist for HTV and Sky with my own make-over show House to House. I also spent some time demonstrating hair for Aveda UK. Now I continue to work as a hair stylist and have a company called Peruke with whom I supply wigs to the NHS. I also manage 5 independent care homes for adults with learning difficulties.

What made you decide to audition for NYO?
I wanted to be in Britain’s best orchestra. I had the opportunity to play in Wales and be a part of orchestras there but what I really wanted to be a part of was the National Youth Orchestra. I remember for my audition in Cardiff I played a Beethoven piece to Ruth Railton. I had the shock of my life when I received the letter accepting me into the orchestra, I was on cloud nine!

How has being in NYO influenced your career?
Being in NYO taught me so many essential skills that not only proved valuable to me in my musical life but also my business life. It has taught me patience, discipline and group working. I find that I am continually developing the skills that NYO engraved in me even today and in particular when managing my businesses.

Most memorable NYO experience?
I have a few memorable ones. The first time I sat down in the orchestra I was overwhelmed by the huge sound. It took me a couple of days to get used to how phenomenal it was! Having Hugh Maguire from the BBC Symphony Orchestra coaching us made it a wonderful experience. Being presented with my NYO badge, which I still have pinned on my tie and hanging in my cupboard!

Advice for people thinking of applying to NYO?
Go for it! You are better than you think you are. You don’t have to have lived in the city or study with famous teachers. If you have talent it will be recognised. Even if you don’t want to enter the music profession the National Youth Orchestra gives the most wonderful experience any young person can have. I simply can’t put across the feelings I had during my time being a privileged member of the NYO.

Were you in the 1960s NYO too? What memories do you have? What did you learn that proved useful in later life?
Contact NYO’s Alumni Manager, Elmley de la Cour, on or 020 7759 1889 to tell us your story and you could see yourself on the NYO website!

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