A 14-year-old student at St Thomas More Catholic Voluntary Academy who has a ‘remarkable talent’ is studying for a GCSE in Music two years early.

Ben Giliker, who is in Year 9, will be joining Year 11 students on GCSE results day in August to find out his result.

The teenager plays violin and has just achieved a Distinction in his Grade 8 ABRSM exam – a qualification usually achieved by students at least two years older than him – scoring 145 out of a possible 150 marks.

Ben started playing the violin when he was six years old and aspires to be a soloist or join an orchestra when he is older.

He said: “I listened to lots of different types of music from a very young age, my mum played trumpet and my did play the violin when he was younger. I practice for an hour a day and I have lessons once a week. I also go to a local orchestra once a week.

“I love playing the violin as I think it’s a way of expressing yourself. I’m studying for my GCSE in Music which I’m taking two years early. I would like to get a grade 8 if I can. My lessons are with Year 11 students and I really enjoy them.”

Ben has also performed as part of the Derby & Derbyshire Schools Orchestra, when he was lead violin, and the National Children’s Orchestra. He is also a member of the City & County Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra as well as being a joint leader of the Peak District Strings Orchestra.

He was one of six violinists of school age from across the world to take part in a masterclass with the Benedetti Foundation with internationally acclaimed baroque violinist Rachael Podger.

Shelley Gray, Head of Expressive Arts at St Thomas More, said: “It’s been such a pleasure working with Ben these past few years. He has a remarkable talent for music and I’m thrilled that as a school we’ve been able to provide him with the opportunity to sit his GCSE Music early. We’ll all be watching his progress closely in the years to come and enjoying his role on the electric guitar in our jazz band!”

David Redfern, Headteacher at St Thomas More in Buxton, said: “Ben’s exceptional talent is truly remarkable, and I couldn’t be more proud of his outstanding achievements in music. As he nears his GCSE in Music this summer, I extend my sincere wishes for his success. I am confident that he will shine brightly and excel in his endeavours.”