October 2014: School’s musicians make the grade


A TALENTED clarinet player notched up the highest mark ever at Haslingden High School when she passed her exam with distinction.

It was the first time Laura Harland had taken a clarinet exam having only taken up the instrument two years ago.

The Year 9 student said: “I was taking my Grade 1 exam and got 141 marks out of 150, which my teacher said was the highest score any student at the school had ever received.

“I decided to learn the clarinet because my friend in primary school used to play one.”

For most of the time Laura was in the examination room with just the examiner but then Head of Music Jonathan Gleeson joined them to play piano accompaniment to some of her chosen music.

“It was a bit scary at first,” said Laura. “I had to play three of my own pieces, then sight read some music I had never seen before and then I had an oral test and had to do scales.

“I didn’t think I would do that well and I was really surprised to find out I had got such a good mark.”

Laura was not the only musical success at the school as fellow clarinet players Lauren Smithson, Louse Smith, Abigail Walton and Ella Boland also scored highly as did pianists Freya Young, Louise and Ella.

Lauren got a distinction at Grade 4, Louise gained merits for both her exams, Ella gained distinctions in both exams, while Abigail was successful in her Grade 5 clarinet exam and Freya passed her Grade 2 piano exam.

Lauren, 14, said: “I got really nervous before my exam and was sure that I had gone wrong. I was so pleased with my results I cried.”

They all advised anyone interested in music to have a go at playing an instrument.