Young violinist earns place at top music school

Amy-Jo Gilbert has accepted a place at Britain's oldest specialist music school, The Purcell School
Amy-Jo Gilbert has accepted a place at Britain's oldest specialist music school, The Purcell School

A YOUNG Shoreham violinist has accepted the offer of a place at Britain’s oldest specialist music school.

Amy-Jo Gilbert, who currently attends St Nicolas and St Mary CE Primary School, in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, will take up the place at The Purcell School in Hertfordshire.

She has also accepted a place at the Royal College of Music in London, where she will continue her violin studies.

Amy-Jo has just been awarded a grade eight distinction on the violin, the highest accolade at the highest grade.

She has also just taken her grade five piano exam, after only 18 months of learning the instrument.

Head teacher David Etherton said: “This is a remarkable achievement for a talented young person.

“Amy-Jo’s dedication and hard work with her music is truly exemplary and she has been an inspiration to some of our younger musicians.”

He pointed out the primary school had twice been awarded the Arts Council for England’s gold Artsmark for excellence and creativity in music, drama, dance and art.

Amy-Jo played at the Steyning Centre on July 5, in a concert organised by Worthing Choral Society, and she has a concert in Coolham on July 20. During the school holidays, she will be touring Spain with West Sussex County Youth Orchestra.

Mr Etherton added: “We wish Amy-Jo all the best as she takes on new musical challenges and continues to perform at the very highest level.”

James Underwood, head of West Sussex Music, said Amy-Jo’s potential was recognised early and nurtured through its award scheme. She had been a leading member of its Worthing Music Centre and, since 2013, violinist in the county youth orchestra.

“Specialist tuition from Andrew Bernardi and a range of enriching award scheme performance opportunities have, at such a young age, provided Amy with the foundations to realise her dreams,” he added.