Rising star Andrew Woolcock

A talented former pupil at Archbishop Temple School has won the Percussion Category Final of BBC Young Musician 2016.

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Woolcock, from Preston, will now progress through to the semi-final of the competition, which is the UK’s leading contest for young classical musicians. Other categories in the competition include keyboard, woodwind, brass and strings.

Marimba player Andrew was one of five percussion finalists in the competition, which is now in its 38th year and has established an enviable reputation for finding outstanding talent.

Broadcast on BBC Four, percussion was in the spotlight as five gifted performers took centre stage.

To claim his place in the semi-final, Andrew performed Piazonore by Gerassimez and Asventuras by Gerassimez.

Reflecting on securing his category win, Andrew said: “It was one of the best experiences of my life and I would encourage any young musician out there to give it a go; you never know where it might lead.

“Winning the percussion category final has given me more hope and drive to achieve my dream of becoming a solo artist and it’s great to have the exposure which may help me find further sources of support and funding to take my studies to the next level.”

Andrew came to Educate’s attention when his former school entered the Educate Awards last year and Andrew performed a moving performance of ‘Land’ by Takatsuga Maramatsu at the ceremony held at Liverpool Cathedral.

Andrew only started playing the marimba two years ago, when the school introduced him to the instrument.

He is currently training at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, which provides expert tuition for children and young people with exceptional musical ability.

Archbishop Temple has a rich music curriculum which boasts different chamber choirs, jazz bands and orchestras.

Head of music, Cate Gardner is working with many up and coming musicians in the department who are inspired by Andrew’s legacy at the school.

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