Five children who go to the same school are celebrating musical success despite the challenges of learning in lockdown.
The talented youngsters are all pupils of Ysgol Bro Cinmeirch in Llanrhaeadr, near Denbigh, and have been taught by tutors from the Denbighshire Music Cooperative.
The quintet been triumphant in their latest musical exams even though they have had to do most of their music practice lessons online.
Denbighshire Music Cooperative is a not-for-profit organisation that works with schools and independent clients, offering tuition for a wide range of instruments and voice.
Founder and head of service Heather Powell said: “It is a fantastic achievement considering the difficulties of the year we have all just been through.
“For five pupils from one school to have done so well is a tribute to the commitment of our music tutors and to the children themselves. They have shown remarkable self-discipline.”
The successful pupils are Tyler Chown, Lucca Tardivel, and Mason Powell, all aged 11, and Henry Pigott and Lloyd Powell, both aged 10. The three older boys will be starting at Ysgol Brynhyfryd in Ruthin in September.
Tyler and Lloyd are both learning the drums and the rest of the group are accomplished singers.
The three young singing talents are all taught by top classical singer Sioned Terry, who joined the Denbighshire Music Cooperative as a tutor last year. She is a former National Eisteddfod and international eisteddfod winner who has performed with well-known tenors including Rhys Meirion, and Wynne Evans, and artists such as X-Factor runner-up Rhydian Roberts and West End star Luke McCall.
Henry said Sioned had hugely helped improve his singing technique and contributed enormously towards his achieving his Associated Board of the Royal School of Music Grade 1 singing practical certificate which he passed with a distinction.
Fellow pupil, Lucca also achieved his Grade 1 singing practical certificate, passing with a merit.
Lucca had to learn a number of Welsh language folk songs including the traditional song Delyn-y-bwn – A bittern bird from the Beacons.
He said he had enjoyed having his music lessons online because it enabled him to continue his music education during lockdown, but he is pleased that face to face lessons are now returning following the easing of pandemic social distancing restrictions.
He said: “It has been a challenging time and it has really made us all appreciate the value of our music lessons for our wellbeing. I don’t think any of us will ever take our music lessons for granted after this year.”
Another grade 1 pass certificate in singing practical went to Mason Powell whose family had double reason to celebrate as his brother Lloyd is also among the group as the proud holder of a certificate for drums.
Mason and Lloyd are the sons of Heather Powell who was delighted the two boys had done so well.
Lloyd gained a Trinity College London certificate in drumming at grade 1
Friend and fellow drummer Tyler also achieved a Trinity College London certificate at Grade 2, Level 1, in rock and pop, passing with a merit.
They had to learn to play popular tunes such as Knock on Wood, Miss You, and She Sells Sanctuary.
Lloyd is taught by Denbighshire Music Cooperative tutor Joseph Pearson and Tyler is taught by another of the co-operative’s tutors, Ben Neal.
Heather said: “All our tutors are proud of the way their pupils have stepped up during this difficult period and maintained their enthusiasm for music. It is a new dynamic for them learning online and not having their teacher in the same room, but they have shown a determination to carry on and to practice as hard as they can.
“These boys are a great example of how hard all our pupils have worked over the last year. It is a credit to them and to our dedicated co-operative tutors that next month some of these kids will be entering their first year in high school having already achieved music qualifications to such a high standard. They all deserve to be congratulated.”