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Pupils at Hereford Cathedral School have plenty of reasons to celebrate National Talk Like Shakespeare Day today with one student being awarded Young Speech and Drama Performer of the Year at the Herefordshire Festival of Performing Arts.

Akil A, 16, won five certificates in total for his performances in speech and drama at The Courtyard’s annual performing arts competition. After winning gold for his portrayal of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, silver for reading and poetry and bronze for his solo acting, the talented pupil was then invited to a special Gala Concert to perform the four-minute dagger scene from Macbeth.

The adjudicators, who included judges from the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Speech & Drama, were impressed so much they awarded Akil the top prize of the Whitehead Cup and the much-coveted title of Young Speech and Drama Performer of the Year. The Cup is sponsored by the Wye Valley Rotary Club & The Courtyard.

Akil began speech and drama lessons in Year 7 and has been an outstanding performer at Hereford Cathedral School plays ever since. In his future career he hopes to combine his love of acting and poetry with a medical qualification to become a drama therapist, which involves helping people express their emotions through acting and poetry.

Akil's certificates


Hereford Cathedral School pupils picked up 15 gold, 10 silver and nine bronze medals in total at the Herefordshire Festival of Performing Arts with notable achievements for:

* Freddie S and Rafferty Y winning the Junior Duologue Class

* Bo M for the second year running winning the Solo Acting

Annie Rees, Speech & Drama teacher at Hereford Cathedral School, said: “I am so proud of our pupils for their successes but just as proud about the behaviour of all of our pupils, who will have gained stage presence and confidence which help in so many ways.”

Music students from Hereford Cathedral School and Hereford Cathedral Junior School also scooped their fair share of trophies including three cups for our school choirs and two cups for wind instruments and one cup for strings

* The Rodway Trophy was won by Hereford Cathedral Junior School choir from Years 3 & 4

* The Recuerdos Cup was won by Hereford Cathedral Junior School choir from Years 5 & 6

* The Hilda Youngman Cup was won by Natalie T and Imogen B for The Wind Chamber Group (Intermediate)

* For strings, the Muriel Fildes Award went to Hereford Cathedral School Trio for Senior Chamber Music

* The advanced wind ensemble prize went to Jack B of Hereford Cathedral School

* Senior Choir of the Year went to Colla Voce from Hereford Cathedral School who won the Evangeline Anthony Cup