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Sebastian shows star quality with musical world first

Sebastian Carrington

A talented young Mensan has become the youngest singer in the world to achieve a top qualification.

Sebastian Carrington, 11, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, is the youngest boy treble to pass the DipABRSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music).

Not content with passing the gruelling exam though, Sebastian also achieved an impressive distinction grade after wowing the two examiners.

The diploma is the equivalent of a first year degree and involved Sebastian learning 12 pieces and performing them from memory as a 35 minute recital.

He also had to write 1,200 words of his own programme notes to accompany his recital, which covered baroque, classical, German lieder to 20th century English art song.

During the exam, Sebastian also sight-read an entire piece after seeing it for just a few minutes, scoring 13/15 for his performance and prompting the examiners to say his knowledge of repertoire stretched well beyond the confines of the exam programme.

Sebastian said: “I have loved learning all the repertoire. The Benjamin Britten pieces were amongst the most challenging due to the long phrases that required iron-lungs!

“I enjoy studying music history - the most challenging part of writing my programme notes was trying to condense it down to 1,200 words!

“I was nervous on the exam day, but once I started singing, I felt in my element and viewed it as a performance. I can’t believe that I’ve achieved a distinction.”

Sebastian has been having singing lessons with John Gull since he was seven and is a boy chorister at Coventry Cathedral, where he sings four times a week. He has his own YouTube channel and, last year, was a contestant on the television talent show The Voice Kids.

Sebastian’s mum, Denise, is now exploring the option of crowd-funding to pay for Sebastian to record an album with an orchestra, which would cost at least £15,000 per day plus venue hire and sound/production costs.

Denise said: “Sebastian has his dreams, but along with that, he has determination and isn’t afraid of challenging work.

“He would put in the time and effort to make his dream come true. He just needs someone to believe in him and take a risk investing in him to preserve his wonderful voice for future generations to enjoy.”

Music isn’t Sebastian’s only interest. As well as joining Mensa at the age of three, he is fascinated with space and at the age of eight achieved an A grade in GCSE astronomy.