Success for East Antrim accordionists

Joanna and Susanna Coon, from Millbrook, with their certificates for distinction in grade one and preliminary. INLT 12-658-CON
Joanna and Susanna Coon, from Millbrook, with their certificates for distinction in grade one and preliminary. INLT 12-658-CON
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The British College of Accordionists has conducted the 25th accordion solo playing examinations in Larne.

For the pupils of East Antrim Accordion School, there was another 100 per cent success rate with five distinctions, three merits and one pass.

The hghest marks were awarded to Joanna Coon, from Millbrook, Larne who attained 92 in the primary grade, her sister Susanna, 92, in the preliminary grade, Abigail Park and her mum Devina, also 92. in the grade one duet and Emma Dunlop, from Carrickfergus, who gained 90.5 marks in grade four.

These were among the highest marks in the UK last year and “reflected well on the quality of teaching at the school”.

In the theory exams, East Antrim candidates also compared very favourably with the rest of the UK with Agnes Neill, from Jordanstown and Edna McCrea, from Ballycarry, attaining the highest marks 99 and 98 respectively in grade two.

The examiner was Raymond Bodell, from London, who is principal of the college. He praised the high standard of the candidates and was most impressed with their preparation.

Clyde Johnston, principal of the Rast Antrim Accordion School, said that he was delighted with the results as the pass mark is 70 and the average attained by his pupils was 87.

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 11 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, as set by the British College of Accordionists, compete in various music festivals or simply play for fun.

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

Anyone interested in learning to play the accordion or learn music theory, should contact Clyde on 07882 456 880 or (028) 2827 2258.

For those who do not have an accordion, the school has a number of instruments that can be borrowed.

Practical accordion exam results: preliminary solo - Susanna Coon, pass with distinction

Grade one solo - Joanna Coon, pass with distinction; grade two solo, Shannon Brown, pass with merit; Edna McCrea, pass with merit; 
Edwin McMillan, pass 
with distinction

Grade four solo - Hannah Blackburn, pass; Louise Boomer, pass with merit; Emma Dunlop, pass with distinction

Grade one duet - Abigail and Devina Park, Ppass with distinction

Theory accordion exam results: grade two theory - Edna McCrea, pass with distinction; Robert McGregor, pass with merit; Agnes Jane Neill, pass with distinction