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Laurence John from Ross-on-Wye gained highest piano mark in country
ROSS-on-Wye could have its own Mozart on its hands after a teenager gained the highest mark in the country for his grade six piano exam.
Laurence John, aged 15, from Arundel Close, got an outstanding 142 out of 150 and in doing so received a cheque for £100 from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
He plans to spend part of it on new music books.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Laurence. “I knew several weeks ago that I had done well and gained a distinction, but I had no idea my performance was so special.”
The St Mary’s High School pupil has been playing piano since he was six and completed the grade in just six months – half the time it would take on average.
“From the age of one, he was showing an interest in the piano, even though we’re not really a musical family,” said Laurence’s mother Sharn.
“We were all absolutely flabbergasted that he got the highest mark in the country. He now plans to take grade seven and then who knows after that.”
Laurence’s tutor John Handley said he couldn’t believe how well he did.
“I have been teaching piano now for 50 years and I have never before had a pupil score such a high mark to win the Associated Board’s prestigious Sheila Mossman Memorial Award,” he said.
“It is a remarkable achievement.”
Laurence, who began his musical career at St Joseph’s Primary School in Ross, also plays the organ at the town’s St Mary’s Anglican Church.
His ambition is to eventually become a cathedral organist.
“He took up the organ a year ago and is making a rapid progress,” said Laurence’s tutor Robert Lucas.
“He also sings in the church choir and plays in the church band. He really is a versatile young person.”