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Young drummer rocks top grade

27 June 2019  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

A passion for drumming, coupled with a drive to learn and succeed, has led to Oliver Clarkson, a Year 7 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, achieving the Rock School’s top grade exam. Eleven-year-old Oliver has been learning the drums for five years and from an early age was clearly a natural, taking his Grade 1 Rock School exam in May 2015.  His talent and interest were apparent from the start and he went on to skip grades 2 and 4, achieving grade 7 in August 2018 and now grade 8, passing all the exams with either high merits or distinctions. A passion for drumming, coupled with a drive to learn and succeed, has led to Oliver Clarkson, a Year 7 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, achieving the Rock School’s top grade exam. Eleven-year-old Oliver has been learning the drums for five years and from an early age was clearly a natural, taking his Grade 1 Rock School exam in May 2015.  His talent and interest were apparent from the start and he went on to skip grades 2 and 4, achieving grade 7 in August 2018 and now grade 8, passing all the exams with either high merits or distinctions. Oliver plays in the School of Rock band at Richmond School and also performs at the Forum in Darlington. He is taught by Andy Brigham, of Rhythm Dynamics who says: “Oliver has been an absolute pleasure to teach over the past 3 and a half years. He has been very hardworking and that solid dedication and passion is the reason he has achieved above and beyond. Going from Grade 1 to Grade 8 in such anincredibly short space of time is an outstanding achievement.   “He now has my top spot for my youngest student to have ever achieved Grade 8 and I am very proud of him for that. I think it will take some beating. Oliver will no doubt in my mind go far with his music.”   Grade 8 is the highest level Rock School exam so Oliver is now investigating ways to further his studies with the Trinity exam syllabus and is looking into a diploma.  At only eleven, he already has 24 UCAS points towards university entry. Stephen Boyd, Lead Teacher of Music at Richmond School, comments: “I am absolutely delighted for Oliver and his family. So much hard work, dedication and support are required to get to this high standard. To have gained a Grade 8 in such a short space of time and for one so young is a superb achievement. We are very lucky at Richmond School to have such bright future crop of musicians coming through!” Oliver concludes: “I love playing the drums, performing at the summer concerts at The Forum in Darlington and now being involved with the “School of Rock” group at school. I am looking forward to continuing my studies with my drums but also want to start playing the keyboard and the guitar, as I love all types of music and want to broaden my knowledge.”

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