The upcoming West Suﬀolk Schools Rock and Pop Awards could lead to a bright future for aspiring young musicians, according to one of its organisers. Sam Robson says the début initiative will inspire and push pupils musically and academically by giving them the chance to work with industry experts.
He will spear head a 10 date tour of secondary schools across the area over the next two months hosting a series of workshops with acclaimed band Underline The Sky. One band from each school will then be chosen to compete for five prestigious accolades at a glittering awards night at The Apex, in Bury St Edmunds, on February 28.
Mr Robson, schools tour manager for his own company Industry Education in Music, which is working in partnership with Suﬀolk County Music Service and the Bury Free Press, said: “ I’ve done this for six years now and as far as I’ve heard there isn’t anything better for the students in terms of looking to work with bands, build on what they already know and push themselves musically.”
The 23-year-old was himself inspired to follow his dreams as a student at Stowmarket High School following
a visit from an up and coming band. From there he launched a band, his own record label, became a national tour manager and attended the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. He has since worked freelance, for record labels and taken bands into schools to run workshops.
He said: “It was the perfect inspiration for me and this is passing on what I’ve experienced. Underline the Sky are an excellent, interesting and fun band.”
At the awards the school bands will compete for titles including best live performance, best image, best musicians, most likely to make it big and best original song, which will be voted for by readers of the Bury Free Press and associated titles.
Rock and pop workshops
Havebury Housing Partnership is the first sponsor to get behind the Project.
During the workshops, students will be arranged into smaller groups to work with band members to create an ensemble piece to perform to the other groups or as a class.
Students can attend a short master class in stage sound and sound checking. They also have the chance to work in depth with the band and crew to reﬁne their live performance.
Each school date will feature a 30 to 45-minute performance by Underline The Sky.