It is already rare for a state funded school to have a distinguished music department with alumni such as Ed Sheeran, but it is more rare for one to have other talented musicians like the Mills Quartet.

On Thursday 21st of March, Thomas Mills bade goodbye to its beloved string quartet which is comprised of four sixth formers Acer Smith, Eva Mawson, Maggie Russell-Hoare, and Edie Evans.

These students led, by principle string leader Cal Fell have played together since they were in year 4 in primary school (2014) and are extremely educated and experienced musicians who work well together. They have each individually been playing their instruments since they were “between 5-7 years old” says Maggie Russell-Hoare (Violinist). Their commitment and talent clearly shine through in their music and this has mad it a spectacular treat. 

Acer Smith having completed a diploma in both the piano and violin, and Eva Mawson in year 12 is currently working toward her diploma in the Cello. Not to mention Edie and Maggie who are both accomplished musicians as well, having completed their grade 7 violin.

The Music Department is strong at Thomas Mills with a distinguished Orchestra, chamber choir and multiple different musical groups and the Mills Quartet is just another example of that.

Having recently performed at the world famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Maggie Russell-Hoare reflected on her previous experiences in the Schools Celebrations Of Music, “The most memorable, and proud” moment for her was when they were in “primary school (years five and six) we played Pachelbel’s Canon in D, which was a very scary but beautiful piece to play at such a young age”. They also wowed audiences at the Thomas Mills Easter concert, where they performed beautiful pieces which captivated the audience.

“The best point for us as a group was when we were the only state school to make it into the semi-finals of the Pro Corda Chamber Music Competition playing Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” said Maggie. This shows just how talented these musicians are, how they flourish and constantly prove how state schools are just as amazing as private schools.

Whilst they cannot now see a future of professionally performing together, the quartet are still certain they will continue at some point in the future!