Play to your strengths

22 Feb 2019

Two talented young College musicians have been awarded Associate (ATCL) diplomas from Trinity College London, which reflects their high standard of performance and musical understanding on their chosen instruments.

Year 13 student and pianist Max Toth took a slow and steady approach to his preparation, ensuring he knew every piece of the ATCL syllabus before focusing on his chosen examination repertoire. “You need to choose a number of different pieces that showcase your skills, as well as have enough to fill the allotted time span. It took me a few years to gain the skills and techniques I needed to be able to do the exam with confidence.”

Max is also a keen organist and has been recently appointed to the position of Organ Scholar at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.

Year 9 student and violinist Josh Hooker skipped a few grades on his way to the ATCL, and such is his passion for music that he says practice never feels like work. “I just like to play, I feel happy when I play music.”

Josh was invited to appear with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra at Sparks 2019 in Hagley Park in February. He chose to play Wieniawski’s “Scherzo Tarantelle”, which he describes as his “pull it out of the pocket” piece. “It was my first time playing a solo at Sparks and I was so nervous beforehand, but as soon as I started playing I calmed down and had an awesome time.”

Josh is already planning to do his Licentiate (LTCL) diploma in violin, and is also preparing for his ATCL in piano.

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Josh Hooker backstage with Jack Tame at Sparks in the Park.


Max Toth playing piano in the Sedley Wells Music Competition 2018.