Spotlight on talent: Music diploma, athletics win for Year 11 student

Just days after being crowned Open Champion at Blackfriars Secondary Athletics Carnival, Year 11 student Jeffery Leung added another string to his bow.

Jeffery last month received the prestigious Associate in Music, Australia (AMusA), a diploma awarded to outstanding candidates in the fields of musical performance and music theory.

The diploma, awarded by the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), is said to be the equivalent to achieving an undergraduate tertiary qualification in music – in Jeffery’s case, piano.

Candidates are required to play four pieces, totalling about 25 minutes and including a complete sonata, and undertake an analysis of each piece.

They must have completed music theory to a Grade 5 standard before even being considered to sit for the diploma.

Year 11 student Jeffery Leung has received the the prestigious Associate in Music, Australia (AMusA) diploma.

Preparation for the exam starts several months in advance.

“This diploma is a very, very hard thing to get,” says Jeffery, who practises between one and two hours a day.

“This is my biggest achievement (in music), the one I am most happy about.

“As soon as I got it, my mum was in tears. Ever since I started at Blackfriars, this is what I have been aiming for.”

Jeffery’s performance pieces

Prelude and Fugue in D minor – J.S. Bach
Sonata in F minor, Op. 2 No. 1 – Beethoven
August (The Harvest) – Tchaikovsky
To a skylark – Miriam Hydele

Jeffery, who is studying SACE Stage 2 Music as a Year 11 student, is no stranger to music accolades.

Over the years he has been honoured with countless certificates and medals, recognising his outstanding talent.

Perhaps surprisingly, however, Jeffery – who is taught by Elaine Feng – does not see a professional music career in his future. At this stage, he is aiming to study Medicine at university.

“This (music) will become my hobby when I am bored,” he says with a laugh.

Open Champion Jeffery Leung in action at the 2024 Secondary Athletics Carnival.

As for his success on the athletics track – Jeffery was named Open Champion at this year’s Secondary Athletics Carnival, thanks to his sprint prowess – he puts that down to years of playing soccer.

“You don’t really see music and track very much,” he says. “But I enjoy them both and I have fun.”

Jeffery will be among 25 Blackfriars students travelling to the Generations in Jazz festival in Mount Gambier this weekend.

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