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Shropshire school celebrates double award win

A Shropshire school is celebrating another double whammy with two more prestigious awards, as nine new members joined their ranks this year aged from just 10 to 17 years old.

The Wrekin College Concert Band and Jazz Band both picked up the top Platinum Award at the Northern Regional Festival of the National Concert Band Festival (NCBF) held in Oldham.

It is the latest in a string of gold and platinum awards the bands have secured since they started taking part in the festival five years ago.

Both ensembles now go forward to perform at the national final to be held in Warwick, next March.

Director of Music at Wrekin College Simon Platford said he was hugely proud of both the school bands saying it had been an incredible team effort following months of hard work from the pupils.

He said the bands had welcomed a number of new members this year including younger players from The Old Hall School, which is part of the same trust.

Mr Platford said it was wonderful to see younger players step up to join a band of much older pupils and rise to that challenge. It also hugely benefits the older and more experienced players who take on the role of mentors. 

“I was very impressed with all their performances on stage on the day but I was equally delighted with how they behaved off stage in terms of looking after and supporting each other. We also had a wonderful supporting crowd of families travelling with us and that does make a big difference to the musicians taking part.

“It is a privilege to work with such remarkable and dedicated youngsters who always give their all to produce their best. I appreciate their understanding as in rehearsals we are never satisfied and are always searching for that next level from the musicians. That can sometimes be hard to grasp, especially when the effort is so considerable. However, the band now realise that making lots of things one or two per cent better soon has a big cumulative effect,” he added.

“The very nature of any school means that we will have musicians coming and going. It is testament to how well Wrekin encourages collaboration among the year groups that when one set of established musicians go off to pastures new there is a new generation waiting in the wings ready to take on those important roles that are needed to bring together an ensemble like this.”

Wrekin will continue its commitment to supporting young rising stars with its series of ‘Sounds of the Future’ concerts which continue next year.

They were originally launched to celebrate the opening of the Wrekin College Music School which has state-of-the-art rehearsal facilities for ensembles and solo performers.

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