15-year-old Daniel Regan has joined the National Youth Concert Band (NYCB) thanks to his talent with the trombone.Advertisement
Daniel, from Preston, was born deaf in one ear, which wasn’t identified until he was six, a few years later at the age of nine, he began playing the trombone.
He auditioned for the NYCB and was accepted in February 2022 and on the 16th of April, he played in a live concert in Birmingham. He also passed his Grade 8 music exam with distinction in the same month.
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Daniel removes his hearing aid when he’s playing and relies on vibrations to achieve the right pitch and tone.
He currently plays in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Brass Band and the Lancashire Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Kearsley Youth Brass Band and the Freckleton Youth Brass Band.
In September 2021, he took part in ‘Are You Listening’, a conference for deaf musicians from across the UK held in Wells Cathedral School. He appeared in a short video, in which he performed on the trombone and gave a speech about his experience as a deaf musician.
Daniel also took part in a National Youth Orchestra ‘Inspire’ ensemble event in Coventry in February, with two other budding professional musicians. These events are designed to provide valuable musical opportunities for teenagers who attend state schools or are from communities underrepresented in the world of orchestral music.
Most recently, Daniel auditioned for and won a place in this year’s Opera North Summer Orchestra Academy, an immersive orchestral training programme for outstanding school-aged musicians.
He is very keen for other deaf children and young people who aspire to musical careers to follow their dreams, as he has, and has this message for them.
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He said: “Music lives in your heart, not in your ears. Your ears are only tools – you need to find your own way of doing things. Everything will be fine if you’re willing to put the effort in. Your hearing loss probably makes you a better listener. Believe in yourself; hearing loss is not a disadvantage, it makes you who you are.
“I play in different bands, but I’m the only one with hearing loss. I’d like to see more children like me playing in bands and orchestras. We can do it too.”
Mark Bolton, Deputy Director for Young People at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “We wish Daniel all the best in the National Youth Concert Band. We know he’ll be a great success.”
“He told us he had to contend with many challenges growing up, but it was his passion for the trombone that carried him through and now he has a great a future ahead of him.”
“He’s setting a fantastic example to other deaf young people who aspire to careers in music or performance by proving that deafness should never be a barrier to achieving your dreams.”
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