March 2014: Musicians earn honours at festival

MUSICAL maestros from Haslingden High School shone when they performed in the Rochdale Festival of Performing Arts.

The school’s Big Band, Brass Band and Wind Band all earned the top award of Honours from adjudicator Barry Russell who commented that they were ‘stylish and assured’.

Head of Expressive Arts Kevin Gibbs said: “I am really hard on them when we are in rehearsals and it is never good enough. Then when I see them perform in an event like this I realise that they are better than some of the county bands.

“The adjudicator commented on what an achievement it was for us to have so many musicians on stage at the one time as we had 62 in the Wind Band.

“I am very proud of all the students.”

As well as performing rehearsed tunes, three of the Big Band members also did some improvisation – Helena Hannah-Shelton, Year 13, James Turner, Year 8 and Amelia Mansfield, Year 12.

The drums and bass section – Matthew Densfield, Year 12, and Reed Crabtree, Year 10, also came in for praise.

The bands are waiting now to see if they will be invited back for the celebration festival in Rochdale in May. They are also waiting to see if they will be invited to the celebration of Music for Youth in July in Birmingham.