Mackay Daily Mercury

Teen tops NSW in HSC music

HE chose to play guitar when he was in Year 5 because he thought it was ‘cooler’ than playing keyboard.

Daniel Pinkerton didn’t think, however, that would help him come first in the State for music in the Higher School Certificate.

In Year 6 he was taking private guitar lessons and by Year 8 the Summerland Christian College student decided he wanted to getserious about his music.

With just under 300 students and from a class of only nine in Year 12 it is a huge achievement for the small independent Goonellabah school.

“We knew he would do extremely well as he is an outstanding guitarist,” principal Neil Easter said.

“He is the first student in the school to come first in the State in any subject.

“Some schools never get that privilege.”

Daniel, of East Lismore, joined 118 other students who topped their subjects from across the State, at a reception at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney yesterday.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally was on hand, along with Minister for Education and Training Verity Firth, to congratulate them for their outstanding achievements.

“I didn’t believe it when I got the phone call last Friday,” an excited Daniel said.

“I wanted to get in the high 90s but I didn’t think I would get first.”

Under the guidance of teacher Alesha Dymock, the three musical pieces Daniel chose for his HSC performance included both flamenco and classical on the acoustic guitar and a Steve Vai piece called Tender Surrender on the electric guitar.

“I don’t have a favourite guitarist at the moment,”Daniel said about his musical influences.

“But I do really like David Gilmour from Pink Floyd. His melodic lines are brilliant.”

Dad Gary Pinkerton was elated when he found out about his son’s major achievement.

“He’s put in a lot of effort with his music this year,” he said. “He really wanted to do well.

“He’s currently learning jazz guitar so he can cover a lot of different styles.”

Despite a pre-entry offer from Southern Cross University into their contemporary music course, Daniel said he’d like to take a year off and study music privately before taking up any offers.

“I’m going to learn keyboard and train in vocals too, to get me technically prepared for uni,” he said.

“Ultimately I would like to be a composer and possibly write scores for movies.

“I like playing music but I like writing it more.”

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