Exam results are like music to the ears

Members of East Antrim Juniors Accordion Group who all passed their accordion exams. From left: Hannah Blackburn, Emma Dunlop, Jonathan Wilson, Lauren Blackburn and Abigail Park. INLT 11-615-CON
Members of East Antrim Juniors Accordion Group who all passed their accordion exams. From left: Hannah Blackburn, Emma Dunlop, Jonathan Wilson, Lauren Blackburn and Abigail Park. INLT 11-615-CON
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The British College of Accordionists have conducted the 23rd annual Accordion Solo playing examinations in Larne and for the pupils of East Antrim Accordion School there was another 100 per cent success rate.

The talented pupils achieved three distinctions and six merits for practical solo playing and two honours and one distinction in the theory exams.

Highest marks in the practical section were awarded to Edwin McMillan from Holywood and Edna McCrea from Ballycarry who attained 97 and 95 respectively in the Preliminary Grade and Emma Dunlop of Carrickfergus who attained 90 in Grade Three.

The theory reults were exceptional with Edna McCrea and Agnes Neill of Jordanstown being awarded a perfect 100 per cent in the Preliminary and Caroline Canning from Bangor getting 98 in Grade Two.

The practical examiner was senior BCA examiner Alistair Gillespie from Paisley in Scotland. He praised the high standard of the candidates and was most impressed with their preparation.

Clyde Johnston, principal of the school, said he was delighted with the results as the pass mark is 70 and the average attained by his pupils was 88. The British College of Accordionists was established in 1936 to provide accordionists with a complete musical education and a system of examinations. Its Board of examiners consists of the highest qualified musicians in the accordion field today and there are eleven examiners in all who tour some 40 centres both in Britain and abroad.

Since opening in 1989, East Antrim Accordion School has gone from strength to strength. As well as getting Larne recognised as an official examining centre, Clyde has been appointed the college’s Northern Ireland representative and has been made a member of the Teachers Advisory Council.

Open to all ages from five years upwards, East Antrim Accordion School is organised along similar lines to piano schools with pupils being taught to read music and play both the treble and bass keyboards of this very popular instrument. They can also be prepared for examinations, compete in various music festivals or simply play for fun.

In addition, the school runs music theory classes which is open to all music students, not just accordionists.

n Anyone interested in learning to play the accordion or learn music theory should contact Clyde at 028 2827 2258. For those who do not have an accordion the school has a number of instruments that can be borrowed.

Practical results

Preliminary

Edna McCrea (Pass with Distinction)

Edwin McMillan (Pass with Distinction)

Grade One

Agnes Neill (Pass with Merit)

Lauren Blackburn (Pass with Merit)

Grade Two

Hannah Blackburn (Pass with Merit)

Dave Harrison (Pass with Merit)

Grade Three

Emma Dunlop (Pass with Distinction)

Abigail Park (Pass with Merit)

Grade Four

Jonathan Wilson (Pass with Merit)

Theory results

Preliminary

Edna McCrea (Pass with Honours)

Agnes Neill (Pass with Honours)

Grade Two

Caroline Canning (Pass with Distinction)