A FINAL place is available for a talented young musician aged between 15 and 25 to develop their skills through a mentoring scheme including players from the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Through funding secured from the Arts Council, opportunities were made available to support the development of five young people and classical music in Middlesbrough and the rest of the Tees Valley.

Four of the free places have already been snapped up but, although the official deadline has now passed, early applications are invited for the one remaining place.

The ‘Accompany’ programme includes performance opportunities, masterclasses, a bespoke mentoring scheme and bursaries.

A pool of mentors - including players from the Royal Northern Sinfonia, conductors, composers, vocal practitioners, teachers and project managers - will advise and guide music students about life in the music industry.

Having been matched up to the most suitable mentor, students will receive one-to-one mentoring as well as group sessions looking at other aspects of career development including CV writing, dealing with nerves, networking and presentation skills.

Rebecca Topping, of the Accompany project, said: “Last year our talented young musicians who benefited from this scheme included two cellists, a pianist, a flautist and a composer.

“They each felt the scheme exceeded all their expectations, giving them a rare opportunity to talk to professional musicians that gave them not only encouragement but opportunities too.”

On completion of the mentoring scheme, there may be an opportunity to claim a bursary of up to £400 towards an experiential development opportunity such as tuition, masterclasses, summer courses or audition fees.

Young musicians interested in taking part in Accompany should contact Rebecca Topping at Middlesbrough Council on telephone 01642-729819 as soon as possible or email accompany@middlesbrough.gov.uk.