Trumpet duo gain a coveted Grade 8 with distinction

Trumpet duo gain a coveted Grade 8 with distinction

5th January 2015


TWO young musicians can be forgiven for blowing their own trumpet after achieving the highest grade possible early in their careers.

Fellow band members, and students with Durham Music Service, Matthew Robinson and Shannon Webb have each achieved the coveted Grade 8 with distinction, a level normally associated with post-A Level, at just 16 and 17 respectively.

For trumpet player Matthew, head boy at Haughton Academy, Darlington, the distinction marks the culmination of eight years of hard work.

“My dad plays trumpet and works for Durham Music Service so I wanted to learn from an early age,” he said. “Grade 8 is the goal you quickly set yourself and to get the distinction is an incredible feeling.”

Matthew, who plays for Durham County Youth Big Band and Darlington Youth Brass Band, hopes to study music at college and university.

“I would love to have a job one day which involves just playing all the time,” said Matthew, who loves a wide range of music but enjoys jazz and blues in particular.

Shannon, of Evenwood, a student of Shaune Eland at Carmel College, Darlington, began playing cornet at the age of nine and is a member of the same bands as well as Aycliffe and Branspeth Band.

“My dream would be to study music at Durham University. I have a particular love of classical music and am also considering teaching,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it when they said I had achieved a distinction.”

The young musicians had to prepare three set pieces as well as improvise and demonstrate their ability to sight-read music.

“It was tough but we have been working towards this for years and had both put in a great deal of work,” said Matthew.

Matthew’s dad Ian added: “They have both worked really hard to achieve an incredibly high standard, so to have two from the same band is a rare achievement. We hope to organise a recital to celebrate their success.”

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