Dame Allan's 'Rising Star' reaches national award final

FORMER Dame Allan’s student Peter Qiang reached the finals of a national award that honours outstanding personal achievement at school.

The profoundly deaf teenager, whose daily piano practice in the hall is sorely missed, was one of just five select students from across the UK considered in the Rising Star category of the Independent Schools of the Year 2021 awards.

Peter, who lipreads due to his hearing impairment since birth, spoke little English when he came from China to study at Dame Allan’s Schools in 2017.

Not only did he achieve a set of excellent GCSE results, he went on to attain four A* grades at A-Level, as well as an Extended Project Qualification grade A, securing him a place to study medicine at The University of Sheffield.

A proficient pianist, Peter became a member of the Young Musicians’ Programme at the Sage, in Gateshead, and performed in numerous concerts, both as a soloist and as part of the Sage’s piano ensemble.

He has won multiple awards for his playing, including The Alfred Gundry Piano Award and Future Talent Worsley Award.

Dame Allan’s Schools nominated Peter for the Rising Star award because of his extraordinary talents.

Principal Will Scott said: “Peter is a truly gifted individual, whose piano performances have moved audiences to tears, both in the school’s hall and at the Sage.

“Coupled with his innate musical abilities, Peter is an exceptional student with outstanding academic aptitude.”

Peter, who hopes to become a doctor, said: “This is a really proud moment for me. I want people to understand that my deafness is no barrier, and I hope to inspire others to overcome their difficulties and chase their dreams.

“I have made many beautiful memories at Dame Allan’s and I am very grateful for all the opportunities I was given to perform on the school stage.”