Schools hail rock and pop awards as stepping stone

Schools have hailed the fast approaching West Suffolk Schools Rock and Pop Awards as a great stepping stone for young musicians to broaden their talents.

Music industry experts will deliver workshops across the county’s secondary schools to hone pupils skills before they compete for four accolades at an awards night at The Apex.

Singer-songwriter Sam Kelly, who was a finalist on last year’s Britain’s Got Talent, will be on hand to offer advice and perform at each school.

Among those taking part is County Upper School, in Bury, which has selected a number of Year 9 students ‘for their outstanding group work and musical potential’. Rebekah Green, director of music, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for them to work with professional musicians.”

Jane Sayer, head of music at Mildenhall College, hopes the activities will ‘raise aspirations’. She said: “ It’s really important for students to experience live music and interact with live musicians and talk to them about pathways that are open to them in the industry.”

The initiative is organised by Industry Education in Music (IEM) in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the Bury Free Press. IEM’S schools tour manager Sam Robson is spearheading the workshops and will return to his former school Stowmarket High.

Jonathan Cushing, head of arts faculty at Stowmarket High, said: “It is far too easy to not take part in events such as this but these events give students powerful memories and make such a difference to their education.”

Vicky Clubb, director of learning creative arts at Stowupland High, which took part in a similar event last year, said: “It’s really good experience seeing what’s involved, setting up a gig and the management side.”

Others taking part include the Amplitude Project, in Stowmarket, Holbrook High, in Ipswich and Newmarket College. The awards night will be held on February 28.

The main sponsor is Easton and Otley College, which is also supporting the ‘Best Live Performance’ category. Havebury Housing Partnership is sponsoring ‘Best Image’, Suffolk County Council ‘Best Musicians’ and Bury Free Press ‘Most Likely To Make It’.

Havebury Housing PartnershipEaston & Otley CollegeSuffolk County Council



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