Local musicians named the best of five orchestras in All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge

Emma Kent, conductor of  the North Devon Sinfonia, conducts her orchestra in their final performance at the Grand Final of All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge, at the Royal Albert Hall. Picture: BBCEmma Kent, conductor of the North Devon Sinfonia, conducts her orchestra in their final performance at the Grand Final of All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge, at the Royal Albert Hall. Picture: BBC

North Devon Sinfonia has been crowned champion of the BBC's battle of the amateur orchestras.

The local group was named the UK's most inspirational orchestra in the Grand Final of four-part BBC series: All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge.

Viewers saw it win the grand final last night (Saturday) and be given the opportunity of a lifetime - to perform at BBC Proms in the Park, Hyde Park, as part of the world-famous Last Night of the Proms.

Conductor Emma Kent said: "NDS is chuffed to bits to be pronounced winners of All Together Now.

"It was such a great adventure from start to finish and the orchestra has been transformed by the experience.

"Amateur music making is so important and brings communities and individuals together to share core values: commitment, therapy, improvement, fun and most importantly friendship.

"We're thrilled that NDS 'best capture' this spirit and can first hand say what a pleasure and privilege it is for us all, on a personal level, to have been part of this."

The show followed five orchestras through months of masterclasses, mentoring sessions and rehearsals before culminating in a musical playoff between the two final orchestras - North Devon Sinfonia and Stirling Orchestra - at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

The series was presented by BBC Radio 3 and BBC Proms presenter Katie Derham. The orchestras were mentored through the process by double-bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku, and judged by conductor Paul Daniel.

Paul said: "I wanted my 'best' orchestra to be a beacon in their community: I wanted them to search behind the notes on the page, to engage us with the incredible emotional power of the symphony orchestra.

"In the end, my champions battled with the challenges and demands of the music they played, and captured our hearts with their ambition and imagination. Bravo, North Devon Sinfonia, and their indomitable conductor Emma Kent."