Jeffery Leung knows the score when it comes to music success.
The Year 9 student has recently returned from the Adelaide Eisteddfod Piano competition with a gold medal in the 14-years division and bronze in the prestigious Certificate of Performance.
“It (the Certificate of Performance) is a very high standard – it’s above Grade 8 – and you had to memorise a song. The maximum was nine minutes, so I played an eight-minute song (Polonaise in C-sharp minor, by Chopin),” says Jeffery, who, for the past seven years, has been taught by Elaine Feng.
The age-group win – in which he played Prelude and Fugue in D minor, by J.S. Bach, and The Cat and the Mouse, by Aaron Copland – was Jeffery’s second Adelaide Eisteddfod victory, also topping the competition in 2021.
The results are just reward for Jeffery, who has been playing piano since he was five years old and practises for between 90 minutes and two hours a day.
“I love that you can express your own feelings and it’s a way to escape from reality,” he says of playing the piano.
And when it comes to competitions, he does not let nerves get the better of him.
At Blackfriars, Jeffery is part of Stage Band 2, Concert Band 2 and the Rockin’ Rhythms band.
He says that involvement gives him the opportunity to play music he may not otherwise be exposed to.
“I can play songs that I really like to play, like Mission Impossible, The Incredibles … it’s really good.”
Blackfriars Music Teacher Libby Hunter says Jeffery is a very talented student.
“And his classmates are so supportive of him,” she says.
Jeffery’s prowess extends beyond music. He was also joint Age Group Champion at this year’s Secondary Athletics Carnival.