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Double delight for music school duo

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By Lisa Barbour
Annan and Eskdale
Double delight for music school duo

A BORDER music school has cause for double celebrations after two of its members scooped top music awards.

MUSICAL AWARDS . . . Scottish Academy of Music and Drama principal Zelda Hill and student John Thomson have both received diplomas from the London College of Music

Zelda Hill, who is the principal of the Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Gretna, and student John Thomson have both received diplomas from the London College of Music.
Chief examiner Phil Aldred travelled up to the Central Avenue studio to conduct the prestigious exams, and was impressed by the standard of both students.
Zelda, 43, was honoured to be awarded a prestigious fellowship diploma in violin, while
John scooped a diploma in classical singing.
An overjoyed Zelda said: “This is great news for the school and means we can pass our experience over to the range of students we have coming through the doors.
“We hope to continue expanding the business and eventually we want to become a
conservatoire.”
Zelda, who established the school last year, spent six months perfecting a challenging
one-hour recital that included her late father’s favourite piece of music as well as Beethoven’s Violin Sonata Opus 20 No. 8, Schindler’s List, Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 and Ravel’s Tzigane.
The fellowship diploma is taken by only 30 people each year, and passed by about 20 of those participants.
Mean while, 59-year-old John is pleased to have passed his first exam after years of
singing in choirs and local bands, and now plans to complete many more.
The Annan student, who receives tuition from Zelda and voice specialist Dorothy King,
performed a classic programme including Ave Maria, Vitoria, Handel’s Where’er You
Walk, The Lord’s Prayer by Michael Head and Mattinata.
The music school will hold its next exam session in December and there are also plans to create more tuition rooms in the former bingo hall courtesy of owner Alan Towers.

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