King’s Ely flautist makes school history with ARSM Diploma result

Posted: 16th July 2021

Lauren Booth, who will be going into Year 11 in September, has achieved a 49/50 Distinction in her ARSM Diploma exam on the flute. This is the highest mark ever achieved by a King’s Ely student and according to Neil Porter-Thaw, the school’s Director of Music, it is a mark very rarely achieved.

Sophie Hillier, who is also going into Year 11 next academic year, achieved 47/50 Distinction in her ARSM Diploma exam on the flute – again, an exceptional mark.

Both Lauren and Sophie have been playing the flute since taking advantage of taster sessions in Year 2 at King’s Ely Acremont Pre-Prep and Year 3 at King’s Ely Junior. Their flute teacher, Liz Hargest, pictured here with the girls, is understandably proud of their results.

Liz said: “I am passionate about the flute and love the beautiful, silvery sound it makes. I have taught Lauren and Sophie from the ages of 6 and 8, respectively, and have inspired them to acquire the same love and passion for flute performance. Together we have nurtured and developed all the musical and technical skills needed to reach this standard of excellence. At the age of 15 in their recent ARSM performance diploma exams these girls have achieved outstanding marks. The girls appreciated Melody Day’s fine accompanying skills. This is a true example of how music making has enriched their lives. I am extremely happy for them and proud of all they have achieved.”

Other stand-out results include Jamie Layfield achieving his Grade 8 singing with Distinction, Thomas Allen achieving his Grade 8 violin with Distinction, Katherine Mann achieving her Grade 8 singing with Distinction, Stella Bluck achieving her Grade 8 singing, Amelia Merrick achieving her Grade 8 singing, and Sam Barber achieving his Grade 8 piano.

Music is the beating heart of King’s Ely and is one of the reasons why the school came into existence in the first place. Over a third of students learn a musical instrument or receive vocal tuition and the quality, range and variety of ensembles all attest to the school’s musical pedigree. The school calendar is jam-packed with student-led and professional concerts, workshops and masterclasses, all of which, together with the excellence of the school’s Cathedral Choirs, highlight how music is the soul of the King’s Ely community and testify to its inclusivity.

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