A 15-year-old girl from Blackheath has been awarded a place on the prestigious National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Ella Richardson, who started playing the violin when she was four, will now perform in nationwide concert tours showing off her talent.

Ella is one of only 164 musicians across the country to be selected for the national team, and she says she is "super excited" to be representing Blackheath.

Telling News Shopper about her success, Ella said: "I am so excited for the year ahead. I have been in the National Children's Orchestra for the last seven years - we got to perform with Nicola Benedetti in our concert last year, so it's amazing that I can continue my musical journey in the National Youth Orchestra.

"I want to thank all those who have supported me on this journey, including my family and my violin teacher Aiste Dvarionaite."

Ella attributes her mum Nathalie Richardson, who is the principal of the Step Up Performing Arts School and also owns a local music day nursery, with getting her into music, and says music has always been at the heart of the family.

Ms Richardson, who attended the Guildhall School of Music & Drama as a singer, commented: "I am really proud of what Ella has achieved in her music and getting into the NYO is very special for her.

"It all comes down to hard work and the wonderful support from all the professionals she has worked with over the years."

Ella's musical journey started when she joined the Guildhall School of Music when she was four years old, and she started learning to play the violin and piano aged seven.

The teenager previously attended Colfe's School in Greenwich and Alleyn's School in Dulwich, and is currently at the Purcell School of Music in Watford.

To audition for the NYO, you first need to be at least Grade 8 with you instrument, but Ella managed her diploma back when she was 12.

She then had to perform twice in front of a panel before being selected for the highly competitive orchestra.

The National Youth Orchestra is a team of musicians who come from all over the UK, and all born since 2000.

In 2020, the team will play at venues across the country as part of their three nationwide tours, and will also b e sharing their love of music with other young people and schools through the NYO Inspire projects.