The Royal Conservatory in Toronto recently awarded Gibsons teenager Axel Loitz a 2011 gold medal for scoring the top mark in B.C. on his Grade 4 guitar examination.
The 16-year-old Elphinstone Secondary School student has been playing guitar for six years and he practises every day. “Hard work pays off,” he said.
He also credits his music teacher, Carolynn Cordsen. They work well together, he said.
Axel received his award in April at a ceremony at Vancouver’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. There were hundreds of winners from all over the province, he reports, and his family attended to support him. His gold medal will sit alongside his silver ones earned in years past for his music.
Now in its 125th anniversary year, The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, providing music education and teacher education programs.
Regional gold medals are awarded each academic year to examination candidates who achieve the highest standard of excellence in their respective province. Eligible candidates must score at least 80 per cent on their practical examination and must have completed the co-requisite theory examinations for their respective grade and discipline.
The award ceremonies recognize student achievements, and they also acknowledge the contributions of their teachers.
Axel is not sure whether his career path will be musical. “I have lots of interests,” he said, “science, foods … but I’ll always be doing music.”
When Coast Reporter contacted Axel, he and the Elphi concert band were heading to Ottawa for a national music festival where they will be rated by adjudicators. Axel plays alto sax with the band, but admits that guitar is really his thing.
MusicFest Canada is celebrating its 40th annual festival in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre. The week long event brings together more than 10,000 of Canada’s finest young musicians in more than 300 ensembles who will perform for recognition.