Talented Hilperton musician Jessica Jennings is delighted to have been selected for the National Youth Chamber Orchestra, after taking part in nationwide auditions.

The 17-year-old, who went to one of 15 auditions last year, found out she had won a place just before Christmas. She will join about 50 other young musicians in the orchestra.

She is currently studying A-Levels at South Wilts Grammar School in Salisbury, where she also leads the cello section in the school orchestra and Chamber Group.

Jessica will attend a week-long residential course before her first performance with the orchestra at Cadogan Hall in London in April to help mark its 30th year celebrations.

“It is really exciting because I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “There were only eight cellist places and to be one of those is amazing and it has really boosted my confidence. I started playing cello when I was about five and I have been working on it ever since, going through the grades. I achieved a Distinction at Grade 8 last summer, before I auditioned in November.

“We got a letter and I saw the letterhead, and it was really exciting when I read it.

“My mum did music at university and we were both really happy when we found out I had made it.

“It is great to get an opportunity like this and it will be a new experience for me.

“I’m not sure whether it is something I will pursue as a career, but I’m always going to play music, even if it is not as my job.”

Jessica won the most promising musician award at St Augustine’s Catholic College in Trowbridge when she was a pupil there.

She has studied with Kathryn Price, one of Britain’s most internationally sought after soloists, for the last five years.

The National Youth Chamber Orchestra has performed at the BBC Proms, been broadcast live on Radio 3 from the Cheltenham Festival and has toured overseas.

Jessica added: “It’s their anniversary this year... the performance at Cadogan Hall to mark it will be very special.”