£60,000 Eton College scholarship for teenage musician from Dagenham

Gifted musician Elias Tomarkin with his flute

Gifted musician Elias Tomarkin with his flute - Credit: Archant

Swapping blazer and tie for tailcoat and white collar, a talented teenage musician has won a scholarship to Eton College worth more than £60,000.

Elias with Robert Clack School headteacher Sir Paul Grant

Elias with Robert Clack School headteacher Sir Paul Grant - Credit: Archant

Robert Clack School pupil Elias Tomarkin, 16, won a sixth form scholarship to the renowned English boarding school, which charges more than £30,000 a year, after going through more than four days of rigorous musical and academic assessments.

Elias, of Green Lane, Dagenham, has played the flute since he was 10-years-old, saving for years to buy the wind instrument worth a cool £2,500, and has been tutored at the Royal College of Music.

“When I carry my flute around at school it is almost like having a comrade or companion,” said Elias.

“I find it is a form in which I can express myself where I can’t necessarily in words. It is pure emotion, that’s just an amazing feeling.”

The teenager can also play the piano and violin and enjoys classical music, such as Mozart, the most but is just as happy exploring jazz and folk songs.

Headteacher at Robert Clack School, Sir Paul Grant, said: “Elias is an absolutely outstanding flautist and has a natural talent.”

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Elias will start at Eton College, the prestigious private school attended by Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, this September.

He said being accepted was “an incredible feeling,” adding: “it felt like all the work I had put in was appreciated.

“I know as well that i’m going from one great place to another because Robert Clack school is phenomenal.”

Mature beyond his years, Elias is quick to dismiss fears that some of the all boys school’s better heeled individuals might give him a hard time for not being one of them.

He said: “I’m not worrying about that because when I went there I didn’t necessarily see it. I know it will be there somewhere but I don’t think it is exactly as it is stereotyped.

“There’s always going to be a few characters but I guess you always need to find a way to keep cope with that and get over it.”