Josef Gaszka, a Godalming music scholar who is currently an Upper Sixth form pupil at King Edward’s Witley, is celebrating after being offered a scholarship place to the Royal Academy of Music in London.
What makes this accomplishment even more remarkable is that 18-year old Josef only started to learn the organ when he joined King Edward’s just over four years ago. The opportunity to study at the Academy is testament to his dedication and hard work.
Josef will take up his place on the four-year course in September 2019 having completed his A-levels in Music, Art and Religious Studies. He will follow in the footsteps of many illustrious musicians who have studied at the Academy, including Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Elton John and Dame Evelyn Glennie to name a few.
A former pupil at King Edward’s partner prep school, Barrow Hills, Josef joined King Edwards in Year 9. Since his successful interview at the Academy in early December his achievements on the keyboard have continued to amass. A week after the audition he took the Associate of Royal Schools Music Diploma and passed with a distinction scoring an almost perfect 49 marks out of 50. Following the Christmas break, he competed in The London Organ Competition winning the second prize and along with it with the opportunity to give a number of recitals countrywide, as well as automatic entry into the Northern Ireland International Competition in 2020.
Josef delighted with the news of his scholarship, “I am really excited to be going to the Royal Academy of Music in London and making the most of all the opportunities that will be available to me there.”
King Edward’s enjoys an established, thriving Music Department. Its Director of Music, Stasio Sliwka commented “This represents a wonderful achievement for a young man, whose commitment and hard work has been rightly rewarded. Josef is also a talented pianist, who after just two years of lessons, is already working towards his Grade 8 exam. We are extremely proud of him and look forward to following his success in the future.”