by JENNY MONROE
Gareth Houston who has been awarded a scholarship at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. US2211-116A0
A LISBURN flautist has become one of the few musicians ever from Northern Ireland to be admitted to a major UK conservatoire.
Gareth Houston, an upper sixth student at The Wallace High School, has been awarded a place, with a scholarship, at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, whose notable former students include comic Rob Brydon, TV star Ruth Jones and acting legend Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Gareth began playing the flute at the age of 7, under the guidance of grandfather Brian Houston, whom he studied with for seven years and achieved his Grade 8 qualification. Following this he had a spell with Cohn Fleming, Principal Flute of the Ulster Orchestra before moving to develop his music with his uncle Glen Houston, just under a year ago.
So far he has achieved an ATCL Diploma with distinction in Flute Recital and has auditioned for the major music colleges across the UK. He will now study in Wales where he will take up a four year scholarship. "It's a truly incredible opportunity and I still can't quite believe it's all happening," Gareth said. To be able to study under such incredible musicians is a very exciting prospect."
Gareth moves to Wales in September but before he leaves he will be giving one of his last performances in Northern Ireland, for a few years, in the Ballyclare Victoria Flute Ensemble Annual Summer concert, in St Johns Church of Ireland, on June 24.
He'll be performing Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp alongside young harpist Richard Allen, also from Lisburn.
Details of the concert can be found at the Ballyclare Victoria website www.ballyclarevictoria.com.