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Culford Musician Achieves Diploma in Cello at the Age of 15.


Catherine Howells (L5) has been incredibly busy with her music over the past couple of months. Catherine successfully took her Diploma in Cello, and recently discovered that she had passed with a distinction; something that is an incredible achievement for someone aged just 15.

We sat down with Catherine for five minutes to ask her about her music.



Tell me about your recent achievements.
I recently got a diploma in Cello, which means that I have DipABRSM after my name. Before this, I completed my Grade 8 Obo too. I also won the strings category in the West Suffolk Youth Music Awards last year and got through to be a finalist in the wider award.



Why did you choose to do the diploma?
It had been a few years since I’d done my Grade 8 in Cello, so I was looking for something else to work towards.



What did your exam entail?
I had to do a 35-minute recital of three different pieces. I then had to write programme notes about each piece, talk to the examiner, piece and do a site reading.




When did you start practising for the exam?
I started learning the pieces in July but I had already performed the Elgar piece in the Prep School competition, so I just had to refresh my memory!



What other things are you doing at the moment, musically?
I am principle cellist in the Suffolk Youth Orchestra and am also principle Obo in the West Suffolk Youth Orchestra. I attend the Junior Guildhall School of Music & Drama and also have just taken on two pupils who I will teach cello to.



What other subjects are you taking at Culford?
I’m studying for my GCSE’s at the moment and besides Music I am taking History, Latin and French.



How do you manage to keep on top of school work, pursue your music and keep a social life?
It isn’t easy at times, but I love playing music, so it isn’t a chore for me; I enjoy it. Missing 5 lessons on a Saturday means I have to catch up in my spare time, this is the hardest part of my week.



What are your goals after Culford?
I’d like to pursue my music because I am passionate about it. It will take a lot of hard work but some of my teachers have said if I work hard enough, a professional music career is on the horizon.
Published: March 16 2017

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