Telford percussionist, 18, reaches final of BBC Young Musician of the Year competition - watch him play
A teenage percussionist from Telford is banging a drum for Shropshire today after reaching the final five in a national competition.
Tom Hall, an 18-year-old Abraham Darby Academy student, will take part in the final of this year's BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.
He will travel to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire to compete, with his performance set to be broadcast by the beginning of May.
"I'm feeling confident, but at the same time the other guys are so good," Tom said.
"I've known about the competition from watching it when I was younger. I had an audition in November and I was up against 40 others. You had to just play your set – you were marked on the criteria and the highest marks went through to the televised finals.
"It was quite scary. Considering I didn't know what the competition was like, I didn't know what the chances of me getting through were. I wanted to play well and, as it was, I ended up through."
Tom started out playing the drum kit while he was still in junior school, but became a percussionist because he wanted to experiment with melody.
"I loved the rhythm and I loved the pulse, but I also wanted to get to grips with more complicated aspects of music," she said. "That led me to percussion.
"I'm going off for a performance degree, and I'd like to become a soloist or an orchestral player."
Rachel Morton, head of music at the Madeley-based school, said: "It's the first time we've ever had a musician get to that stage. We're really proud of him and the achievements he has had.
"After a few months of him starting to learn, you could tell he had a natural talent for percussion. He showed us that he had a lot of talent and promise."