Congratulations to Blue Coat Sixth Form Music student Daniel Greenway who has achieved his Grade 8 Organ with Distinction, with an outstanding score of 142 out of 150 marks, in the exam which was held at Liverpool Cathedral’s Lady Chapel.
However, due to the sheer volume of practice he had amassed since starting to learn the organ aged 12, Daniel said he’d never felt better prepared for an exam which was 35 minutes jam-packed with playing three pieces, scales, sight-reading, transposition and oral tests.
His interest in playing the organ began as a Liverpool Cathedral chorister aged seven, although he initially learned to play the piano. He added: “I am ecstatic with my result as I know I am the only one of my age who has achieved this in the North West, but I’ve been very privileged in being able to use the Cathedral’s facilities and having its assistant organist, Dan Bishop, as my teacher, who entered me for the exam.”
Speaking about the attraction of playing a pipe organ, Daniel said: “The sheer enormity of the experience captures your imagination when playing this ‘king of instruments’. It’s an exhilarating feeling when you place your hands on the keys and pull out the Tuba Magna (the world’s largest organ stop) and 120 decibels blasts out, like a jet airliner taking off – there’s no sound like it on earth.
“The new Blue Coat Organ Scholarship will be a fantastic way to get more young people learning how to play the instrument, using the both of the School organs and the Cathedrals’ organs. It will keep this amazing way of making music alive instead of it becoming an anachronism. For me, it’s a great thing to be a part of this project.”
Blue Coat Director of Music Mr Emery said: “This result is a tremendous achievement. Daniel is a very talented organist and all-round musician who plays a big part in the musical life of the School.”