It's not surprising Year 12 ACG Sunderland student Tony Lu is a great musician – it's in his DNA.
Tony's mother is a music teacher, and his parents introduced him to alternative rock at a very young age. Since then, he's dabbled with guitar and bass, done some singing, and honed his drumming skills, all while exploring a wide range of genres, from Indie to post-punk.
"I've been playing the drums for six years. I joined a few singing groups back in my previous primary and intermediate schools and learnt guitar for a year. Now though, I just play guitar and bass for fun, as I really like to focus on my drumming," the gifted 16-year-old confirms.
"I'm always practising my drumming skills. When I'm bored, I put on my earphones and tap on the table to whatever music is coming out of them. It's a great way to practise maintaining tempos!"
Tony describes his music taste as "distinctive".
"I always sing in a deep tone, mainly because I'm heavily influenced by Ian Curtis, lead singer of the late 1970s post-punk band Joy Division."
And although he is currently the drummer in four different school bands – including Soul Band – he's keen to join more.
"I love to use my talent and practice my hobby, plus there aren't that many drummers at ACG Sunderland!"
Fortunately for this musical maestro, the school has provided him with plenty of exciting opportunities.
"ACG Sunderland's music programme is outstanding. There's so much to learn, and Mr O'Connor is a very diligent music teacher who helps arrange and guide many student bands throughout the year."
Tony has enjoyed performing in the Talent Show, and last year his Cambridge IGCSE band gained third place in the school's Battle of the Bands. Meanwhile, this year he showcased his vocals and drumming skills simultaneously during a Term 1 lunchtime concert.
"That was one of my best musical highlights so far this year. I think it's pretty special because I haven't seen anyone else play the drums while singing at this school!"