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Teen cellist, who sang for the Pope and Barack Obama, hopes to raise money for National Youth Orchestra

PUBLISHED: 17:24 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 17 May 2017

Thomas Nettle

Thomas Nettle


He is currently a specialist musician at Wells Cathedral School

A teenager from Leigh, near Sevenoaks, who has sung for the royal family, the Pope, and Barack Obama, and his musical family are coming together to play in concert with hopes of raising money for the National Youth Orchestra (NYO).

Thomas Nettle, 15, a specialist musician at Wells Cathedral School, has been a cellist in the NYO for the last year, and now hopes to raise £100 for the orchestra, something each member is encouraged to do.

He said: “We’ve played together as a family in concert before, and it’s always been really fun. Last year we played the last 15 minutes of a concert together and I presented us to the audience, so I thought to raise money for the NYO, it would be fun to recreate that for a longer period of time.”

Thomas, who hopes to turn to academic music at either Oxford or Cambridge when he leaves school, comes from a highly musical background. His dad, Terry, plays viola in the orchestra of English National Opera, his mum, Joanna, plays the flute in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and his sister, Isabelle, is studying violin at the junior department of Guildhall School for Music and Drama.

During his primary school years, Thomas also sang in the choir at Westminster Abbey, performing for the royal family, the Pope, and former American president Barack Obama.

He said: “It’s actually not that scary performing in front of those big names, especially seeing as when I did it there was 20 other boys up there with me.

“But I have a really nice memory from the time I sang for the Pope. In the middle of the service, the Sistine Chapel Choir’s conductor turned to me and started talking to me about being in the choir. And also when I met Barack Obama, he came round all of us and spoke to us indiviually.”

Tickets for this concert, on June 3 at St Mary’s Church, Leigh, are £5 per adult and can be purchased on the night. Children go free with an accompanying adult.

The performance begins at 7pm and drinks and snacks are available in the interval for a donation.

If you’d like to donate to Thomas but are unable to attend the concert, email

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