A KING’S Ely Chorister who appeared alongside Rowan Atkinson in the West End production of Oliver has achieved a Distinction in the highest grade of singing assessments.

Head Chorister Edward Birchinall (12) scored a remarkable 139 in Grade 8 Singing, the top award provided by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). It was the highest mark achieved of all King’s Ely pupils who took the exam, including the King’s Ely Senior and Sixth Form students; over 70 ABRSM exams were taken in the Lent term and an impressive 28 students achieved Distinctions.

Singing ‘Maria’ from the classic Broadway musical West Side Story, which contains a huge vocal range, Edward was able to showcase his impressive vocal technique.

However, despite also turning 13 this week, there is little time for celebration as Edward prepares for his next challenge

on Saturday (5); an audition for the Jubilee Choir, which will perform at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on the day of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Edward, who joined King’s Ely Junior in Year 6 after attending a musical theatre school, said: “I have always been really musical but I only discovered my voice when I started singing in school productions. As a member of the Ely Cathedral Choir, I practise every morning and evening and I also having singing lessons at school, which really helps me to develop my classical voice.”

Edward is now starting work in his solo recital programme and appears on the CD ‘O Give Thanks’ by James Farmer and Friends, which can be purchased from the Ely Cathedral shop priced £12.

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