Renowned trumpet player heralds her old school’s Artsmark success

WORLD-renowned trumpet player Alison Balsom returned to her old school this week to present it with a unique award.

Miss Balsom, who grew up in Royston, handed Greneway School the Artsmark Gold award at a ceremony on Wednesday. It is the fourth time in a row Greneway has gained the award, and it joins a small group of schools in the UK to have achieved such a feat.

The Artsmark is given to schools who demonstrate a commitment to providing high quality learning in all areas of the arts, and the gold award is the highest status which can be achieved.

To celebrate the occasion, Miss Balsom gave a short recital in a special assembly.

She said: “It was at this where I was really motivated and inspired to play music. I had a wonderful time studying music with many of the teachers who are in this hall today.

“Whenever I play music anywhere in the world I remember how privileged I am, and I’m very pleased to be at Greneway today, it’s a pleasure to be back.”

Earlier in the day Miss Balsom, who was named Best Female Artist at the Classical Brit awards in 2009 and 2011, had taken part in workshops with aspiring musicians at the school, and answered questions from pupils.

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Terry Graves, Greneway’s assistant headteacher, coordinated the accreditation process.

He said: “This award is testimony to the importance placed upon the creative and performing arts at Greneway as part of a broad and balanced curriculum that helps develop the whole individual.

“The fact that the Arts Council have made a special award to celebrate the fact is fantastic.”