Tom grew up on the Isle of Man, a few minutes’ walk from the sea. His father, who died when Tom was 10, was a musician and worked as a music advisor to the Department for Education. With his father’s encouragement, Tom got into music at an early age. He and his twin sister began singing together when they were very little and Tom started on the violin at the age of three. At eight, he auditioned for the choir at King’s College, Cambridge and successfully secured a place.
Missing his family, boarding was hard at ﬁrst. But Tom loved King’s College and he loved singing. “Music was deﬁnitely my thing.” Tom was aware of Eton as King’s Choristers often go on to the school. In Year 6, Tom took the entrance exam and aimed for a music scholarship — “I played a bit of violin, piano, and sang for the Head of Music. I was lucky I still had my treble voice. I felt pretty good when I got the scholarship.”
I enjoyed Eton so much that I might like to become a teacher one day. The teachers here have been so inspirational.
Tom found it fairly easy to settle in at Eton but struggled at ﬁrst with time management. “It is a lot to keep on top of the work as well as all of the extra-curricular activities. I work quite slowly so initially I lost sleep. Eventually I ﬁgured out how to manage everything. I still do not have much downtime but I want to make the most of all of the opportunities here.”
Music continued to play a large role in Tom’s life at Eton. “I joined The Incognitos: a boy-run close harmony group, where we sing all sorts of stuff — a bit of classical, Disney songs, and pop. It was my ﬁrst experience with close harmony and I loved it. I would say it is the most enjoyable thing I have done at Eton. I had to drop out when my voice broke, but I was able to re-join the group for my ﬁnal year and we made a recording of Winter Wonderland!”
Tom played second violin in the orchestra and continued with the choir, which led to some wonderful travel opportunities such as trips to Latvia, Venice, and Hong Kong. Tom also made good use of a number of travel grants available to boys. “I went to Delhi for two weeks of charity work in D Block and when I was in C Block I went to Italy to improve my Italian. The school also gave me some money to go to Odessa and Kiev the summer after B Block because I have applied to study Russian — from scratch — at university.”
What does the future hold for Tom? “I would love to become a professional singer one day, but I need to see what happens when my voice settles down. I enjoyed Eton so much that I might like to become a teacher one day. The teachers here have been so inspirational. Teaching would suit me, I think. And I would love directing school choirs, organising concerts, and coaching sport. I would be very happy with that.”