A GIFTED young musician and composer from Barnoldswick will step into the spotlight this weekend as he features in a BBC programme with celebrity DJ and actor Goldie.
Vahan Salorian (18), who is a student at Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton, was selected with 11 other young people from across the country to take part in the show “Goldie’s Band by Royal Appointment”.
It follows the music star on a mission to discover youngsters whose talent and passion for music is at the centre of their lives but have had to overcome difficult circumstances.
Helping the group is a team of industry experts including composer Guy Chambers, singer and rapper Ms Dynamite, music manager Steve Abbott and singer-songwriter Cerys Matthews.
The mentoring project culminated in an hour-long concert at Buckingham Palace in front of guests including Prince Harry.
Vahan, who lives with his mum, sister and brother in Back Chapel Street, was a relatively late starter on the flute at 14 years old. North Yorkshire County Music Service provided him with tuition while the Musician’s Benevolent Fund has awarded him their highest bursary.
Now, as well as being a Grade 8 flautist, Vahan is a gifted trombone, violin, piano and French horn player, a member of Ermysted’s Big Band and Barlick Brass Band, and an almost entirely self-taught composer. He won the North Yorkshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra Composers Competition in 2008 and 2010.
Vahan was nominated to take part in the BBC programme by members of the North Yorkshire County Music Service and the selection process involved Goldie and Jazz Saxophonist, Soweto Kinch, visiting Barnoldswick Civic Hall to film with Vahan and the brass band.
Vahan said: “I had to improvise with Soweto to prove I wasn’t just a ‘classical’ guy, which was really out of my comfort zone but challenging in a good way.
“Goldie also listened to some of the music I’d written and then I got through to the final 12 which made up the band”.
Vahan said filming the programme proved life-changing.
“The 11 other members of the band are not only amazing musicians and artists but people too. Everyone has their own stories but the documentary is definitely not some ‘sob story’ X-Factor style thing.
“It focuses on the music and the concert, probably the most amazing experience I’ve had and certainly a once in a life time opportunity.”
“For the concert we were in the throne room of Buckingham Palace with the drum kit in front of the actual Queen’s throne.
“It was surreal, every room was so massive and grand and it was hard to believe that we were joining the elite group of musicians who had performed there, from Elgar to Elton John.
“The programme was more than just a documentary. It was a project, and the contacts and opportunities the BBC provided for us all will hopefully run long into the future. There’s already talks of a tour and recording sessions with the band outside of the series.”
And while Vahan attracts attention at a national level, he has also been recognised in his home town with a Pride of Barnoldswick award for his ongoing achievements.
The future looks bright for the teenager as he has won a place at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
He said: “I’m really excited about going down in September.
“My main ambition is to be a film composer, mainly because I think it’s one of the best ways for a composer to get their music out to the public and to entertain people.”
The programme starts tomorrow at 9 p.m. on BBC 2 and runs for three weeks, with the full hour-long concert shown on April 9th.