Plymouth Music, Speech and Drama Festival starts today
YOUNG piano students delighted an audience of more than 100 people when they gave a concert ahead of the city's premier music festival, which starts today.
Nine talented musicians from Plymouth Piano School, aged between five and 14, gave the free concert at Derriford Church Hall.
They were using it as practice for the City of Plymouth Music, Speech and Drama Festival, where they will compete against other prodigies from across the city at Methodist Central Hall.
In all, 13 of the Derriford-based school's mini-maestros will play in 20 categories.
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"The concert was wonderful," said piano teacher Matej Lehocky. "The children worked really hard.
"It was like a mock test. They were really energised and are determined to score good points in the festival."
Mr Lehocky, an acclaimed concert pianist who attended the prestigious Prague Conservatory of Music, only opened his school, in Upland Drive, a year ago.
It quickly grew and now he has more than 60 students.
And he will enter the open recital class at the festival himself.
"I want to win," he said. "I have been practising like mad, six hours a day, just like when I was a student."
Mr Lehocky has also written two compositions for his students, so they can enter the 20th Century composer section at the festival.
He is also due to give a recital at Central Methodist Hall on December 3, at 7.30pm.
"It will have a Christmas theme," he said, adding that any students doing well in the festival could get the chance to perform at his concert.
Mr Lehocky's school made national headlines in July when three-year-old student Lavinia Ramirez, from Ivybridge, played at a concert in front of 100 people.
Mr Lehocky was delighted with the turnout for his students' latest concert and said: "The community is interested in what's happening here, which is so nice."