A TEENAGE music star struck a chord to secure a spot at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Notre Dame High pupil Austin Smith fought off tough competition to get in.

Now he'll be advancing his musical talents on an honours degree in music course which begins in September.

The talented 17-year-old, who sings and plays trumpet, received an unconditional offer to join the course, run by one of the top 10 institutions in the world to study music.

Austin, who is depute head boy at Notre Dame, told the Tele: "I'm so pleased to be given this opportunity.

"I've always known I wanted to pursue a career in music, so this is a big deal.

"It was a bit stressful as auditions weren't normal due to Covid-19.

"I had to record my pieces in advance and send them in, meaning I was a bit over-critical of them.

"It's really great to have had the unconditional offer and I'm really looking forward to getting started in September."

Austin is the third pupil from the Dunlop Street secondary to secure a place on the course and he says he couldn't have done it without the support of his family and teachers.

The S6 pupil, who lives in Greenock with parents Claire and Christopher and siblings Anna, Lucy and Maeve, told the Tele: "I have been singing for a long time and am involved in all of the school shows.

"I'm in Inverclyde choir and I'm also involved with the local singing group, VOX.

"My parents are really proud of me but my mum just keeps telling me to 'keep it real' and keep working hard."

Austin hopes that once he completes the course he will be able to continue his studies with a postgraduate degree to become a music teacher.

Gerard Gordon, principal teacher of music at Notre Dame, said: "Austin's voice has such natural resonance, warmth and beauty.

"The quality of his voice is equalled by his hilarious and engaging personality.

"It was so difficult for him to prepare because of the ongoing restrictions in terms of singing in schools because of the pandemic, so for him to achieve this is even more credit to him.

"He’s given us all some hope for singing, wind and brass playing in these challenging times.

"Austin's potential is absolutely infinite, I’m really proud of him and what he’s achieved."