An S6 pupil at Prestwick Academy is one of the best young saxophone players around!
Sixteen year old Ross Houston has just achieved a Grade 8 distinction on his favourite instrument, confirming him as one South Ayrshire's finest young musicians.
His love of the saxophone began when he was at Symington Primary School, and since then he has worked his way through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams until this latest achievement.
Ross now has his sights set on a Trinity College of Music Diploma before leaving school.
His recent success is even more remarkable given the constraints placed on practicing wind and brass instruments as a result of COVID-19. Thankfully for Ross, and his fellow musicians, the Instrumental Music Service is determined our young players don't get too rusty! Despite restrictions, instrumental lessons have continued with a combination of face to face practice, live video lessons and virtual drop in sessions.
Ross said: "Playing the saxophone has allowed me to meet loads of different people and my confidence has grown by taking part in concerts and competitions. It's great fun but there's a lot of hard work too.
"After leaving school, my plans are to go to University to study Physics or Engineering, but I'll keep playing the sax and hopefully find a university concert band that I can join.
"I would like to thank my woodwind teacher at Symington Primary School Mrs Rietveld; Mrs Dippie, PT of music at Prestwick Academy; Mr Walker; and Mr Gonzalez who lead the Big Band."
Councillor William Grant, Children and Young People Portfolio Holder for the Council said: "Well done to Ross on his distinction, all his hard work and dedication have paid off and I am sure he will achieve his diploma too. It's great to know that people are still following their dreams despite the pandemic. Hopefully it won't be too long until we see Ross and his fellow musicians back on stage."