Musical star from Princethorpe College scoops Olivier Award

Princethorpe College pupil Toby Lee with fellow Olivier Award winner Tim Minchin. Photo by Terry Lee NNL-171004-170926001
Princethorpe College pupil Toby Lee with fellow Olivier Award winner Tim Minchin. Photo by Terry Lee NNL-171004-170926001

A 12-year-old guitar sensation from Princethorpe College scooped an Olivier Award with fellow School of Rock cast members in London last night (Sunday, April 9).

Year 7 pupil Toby Lee and 12 other child cast members from the critically acclaimed, Andrew Lloyd Webber musical won the Outstanding Achievement in Music award for playing live at the theatre each night.

The Priors Marston boy, who starred as lead guitarist Zack Mooneyham in his West End debut, remained modest despite his amazing rise to stardom.

“I’m so proud that I am an Olivier Award winner,” he said.

“My experience with School of Rock has been an incredible adventure and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“My mum and dad think I’m amazing – but I’m just Toby and I love playing my guitar.”

Princethorpe headmaster Ed Hester said: “It’s been fantastic to see Toby’s talents develop over the years and his recent accolades are testament to his hard-work, devotion to and love of music.

“Joining the Princethorpe Foundation as a pupil at Crackley Hall School in 2014 and moving on to Princethorpe College last September, we’ve followed Toby’s musical journey with great admiration and we’re very proud to support him.

“Huge congratulations go to Toby and his fellow cast members – their achievement is thoroughly deserved.”

Toby’s musical journey began at just four, when his grandma bought him a yellow and green ukulele as a gift.

When he was eight, he got his first full size electric guitar for Christmas and has not looked back since.

Toby is no stranger to the stage as the School of Rock cast played to 40,000 people at BBC Proms in the Park in Hyde Park, London, in September.

Alongside his School of Rock prestige, Toby’s individual talents have propelled his reputation at home and overseas.

From the success of his YouTube channel and dedication to the late music legend BB King, Toby was invited by the musician’s daughters to play with his All Star Band in Memphis back in 2015.

More recently, Toby has found fame across America when he performed on NBC America’s ‘Little Big Shots’.

The show, created by US comedians Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Harvey, features some of the world’s most talented and extraordinary children.

Toby’s performance in March was uploaded to Facebook by the show and to date has been shared over 160,000 times and viewed by more than 12 million people.