A Peel chorister has become the first on the island to land a top singing award.

Cathedral chorister Ophelia Watts has recently succeeded in achieving the Royal School of Church Music’s (RSCM)  Gold Award with a ‘Highly Commended’ mark.

The Gold Award is the highest accolade for choristers who have attained the best possible standards in loyalty, industry and musicianship and in recognition of their exemplary conduct and outstanding work.

The intense examination was conducted by the RSCM’s chief examiner Adrian Lucas, who was formerly organist and Master of the Choristers at Worcester Cathedral.

The examination tested Ophelia’s vocal and musical abilities in both performance and theoretical elements of musicianship. It also explored Christian concepts and knowledge of the bible and psalms, as well as her experience of being a cathedral chorister. Ophelia is the first chorister from the Isle of Man to earn this award.

Dr Peter Litman, St German’s Cathedral director of music, said: ‘Ophelia joined the choir as a probationer chorister in September 2015 and has progressed steadily through the ribbons, as well as achieving both the Dean’s Award and installation as head chorister.

‘Rewarding her hard work and commitment, I am delighted she is the first chorister to gain the Gold Award on our Island.

‘I wish Ophelia well as she leaves at the end of the Summer term, having gained the offer of a place at Pembroke College Cambridge to study for a degree in music and further her choral singing with Anna Lapwood”.

Vacancies exist in St German’s Cathedral choir for girls and boys aged 7 – 16 years, or for choral scholarships for those aged 16 – 18 years. Contact Dr Litman at [email protected] for further information.