Helston School Jazz Orchestra’s musical director has sung the praises of his youngest ever band who have returned from a prestigious competition with gold.

The 22 young players, who range in age from 13 to 18, travelled to Cheltenham to play in the National Concert Band Festival regionals, which feature musicians from across the South West, Wales and Midlands.

Clive King has led the Helston orchestra for six years and this crop of players has the youngest overall average age he has ever conducted.

Speaking after the contest he said: “Nerves were really jangling backstage, but on stage our musicians were professional, entertaining and brilliant.

“The commitment of all players has left me nearly lost for words. This, along with their camaraderie, dedication and sheer talent has filled me, their parents and school with tremendous pride.”

He added that preparation for the festival had gone “extremely well”, with new section leaders passing on their experience to newer band members, many of whom had only joined the band in September.

The orchestra will be performing at Helston Community College’s Christmas concerts on December 12-13. Their 2013 gigs are listed on their Facebook page, under the orchestra’s name.