Star of Silver Spires

Free Star of Silver Spires by Ann Bryant

Book: Star of Silver Spires by Ann Bryant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ann Bryant
immediately because I felt so pleased that she even thought I stood a chance of winning the contest.
    â€œOh, Mum, I’d absolutely love to win, but there’s no way I could ever do that. I mean, I probably only just scraped a place in the second round. The bands were fantastic, and it’s a really high standard all round, but the very best act is a solo singer from Year Eight. She’s called Bella and it’s obvious she’s going to win the whole thing. Everyone’s saying it.”
    Mum tried to soften her voice a bit. “You will make sure you explain to Mrs. Roach that you’ll practise properly as soon as the competition is over, won’t you? It’s great that you’ve managed to perform but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, darling, the school made it very clear that your scholarship really does depend on you excelling in your piano lessons.”
    I didn’t say anything, but I could feel my hackles rising, and I wasn’t exactly sure why.
    â€œYou see, the thing is,” she went on, “you can’t show your talent in any other way, as you don’t play an orchestral instrument…”
    And then I got it. That’s what was making me mad. Not only was writing songs not “proper” music, but apparently it didn’t show any talent. All the effort I put into creating words and music and arranging them together into something that people enjoyed enough to vote for didn’t count for anything in Mum’s and Mrs. Roach’s eyes.
    â€œI know,” I mumbled, thinking how often I’d had that fact drilled into me.
    â€œAnd you know that without the help with the fees that we get from the scholarship, we wouldn’t be able to afford to…to keep you at Silver Spires?”
    I swallowed and nodded, then realized Mum couldn’t hear me nod. “Yes, I know that too,” I said a bit snappily.
    I hated sounding all stressy like this but I couldn’t help it. I probably should have just told Mum why I was cross, but I didn’t have the energy, so we talked for a few more minutes about my friends, and how my schoolwork was, and how my little brother had come first in a fancy-dress competition, and how Mum was going on a jewellery-making course the next weekend. And then we rang off and I folded my arms and sighed noisily.
    â€œWhat’s up?” came Georgie’s bright voice. She was walking towards me from Hazeldean. It was Sunday afternoon and we were just chilling. She knew where to find me because whenever I phone home, I always walk up and down the main Silver Spires drive as I’m talking, unless it’s raining.
    â€œMum’s been reminding me about my music scholarship,” I told Georgie glumly.
    â€œWhat about it?”
    â€œYou know…how important it is that I’ve got to keep making progress on piano so I don’t lose my scholarship.”
    â€œBut you are making progress. Playing all sorts of different pop stuff and jazzy stuff and musicals and things. You never used to take any interest in those kinds of things before. You should tell her, Mia, that you’re – what’s the expression? – broadening your horizons. That’s what you’re doing!” She beamed at me. “I’m quite proud of that actually!”
    â€œYou’re proud of me broadening my horizons?” I felt really touched. “Hey, thanks, Georgie.”
    â€œNo – well, yes, I am proud of you doing that, but I mean I’m proud of myself for thinking of the expression.”
    I couldn’t help laughing. But I was also grateful to Georgie. She’d come up with such a good phrase and I would make sure I used it next time I spoke to Mum. I might even dare to say it to Mrs. Roach.
    â€œI just talked to my mum and dad too,” Georgie carried on brightly. “They said it was a horrible day and they were sitting around indoors doing nothing much.

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