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Musical triumph for sixth form organistFebruary 16th, 2015
When one boy from Hong Kong began his school career in Monmouth, he had never heard of Latin before and had only just been introduced to the organ.
Now, just four years later, Jordan has been offered an organ scholarship to study classics at the University of Cambridge and defied odds to achieve a qualification rarely given to a school pupil.
On Friday (February 13), the talented 18-year-old discovered that the Royal College of Organists has awarded him its Associateship Diploma.
Jordan endured six hours of written papers, a recital, keyboard tests and tests of aural perception in front of three cathedral organists in London and Huddersfield to make the grade.
The Monmouth School pupil now has the letters ARCO after his name.
He said: “When I got the letter on Friday, I was really worried it was going to ruin my half term – I was so nervous, I asked my teacher to look at it first.
“I am surprised and relieved.
“When I started having organ lessons in Year 9, I definitely didn’t think I would be achieving this today.
“I love playing the organ because it’s something different.
“It opens up a lot more in music to me than the piano – you get to play amazing instruments.”
After sailing through trials at Cambridge, Jordan, also a highly accomplished pianist, was awarded the Organ Scholarship at Jesus College, where he will begin reading classics in September.
“I was shaking all the way through the diploma recital – I was intimidated but it was a great experience, a lot like the Cambridge open trial,” he added.
“I’m looking forward to everything about going to Cambridge.
“The fact I’m doing classics is amazing.
“I didn’t even know what Latin was before I came here.
“I’ve got a lot more to discover.
“The teachers at Monmouth School have changed my life.”
Jordan has also been awarded a Prince Philip Scholarship. This gives him £5,000 per annum, plus two return flights, for the duration of his time at Cambridge.
David Lawson, Director of Music at Monmouth School, said: “We are all immensely proud of Jordan and his many achievements.
“It is extremely rare for someone who is still a pupil at school to gain his Associateship of the Royal College of Organists.
“The many teachers here who have worked with him know just how able and determined he is.
“He will be a big loss to us when he leaves us for Cambridge in the summer.”