May 2016: National concert for musicians from Haslingden High School


SCHOOL musicians have two reasons to celebrate after they won a trophy for the most outstanding wind band and were picked for a national celebration.

Haslingden High School’s wind band had a year out from entering competitions, but that 12 months made no difference to their standard of performance.

At Rochdale Festival of Performing Arts the wind band won the De Courcy Trophy as the most outstanding Wind Band.

They were also invited to play at the celebration concert where the young musicians opened the concert with three pieces – Metrix, Cyclone and African Beat.
There was double cause for celebration when they discovered they had also qualified from the regional Music For Youth heat and had been invited as one of the leading school wind bands in the country to perform at the National Festival.

This will be held at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham on July 7.

Head of Performing Arts Kevin Gibbs said: “We are all very proud of our achievements so far and excited about performing at the national festival.
“I would like to congratulate the students on the dedication and hard work they
always put in, despite the pressures they face with exams at this time; their performances have been exceptional.”

For several students in Years 13 and 11 it will be the last time they perform with the school wind band when they go to Birmingham.

One such student is Philip Taylor, 17, who plays tuba and will be taking a gap year to raise money after this summer’s A levels. He then has a place studying music at Huddersfield University and wants a career in music composition.

He said: “It was a bit of a surprise considering we have taken a year out, but we are all really proud of ourselves and the encouragement we have had from Mr Gibbs and all the teachers.

“We took a year out but we came back just as strong as before, if not better.

“We all have self-motivation to practise and get it done. The festival in July will be pretty poignant for many of us in Year 13 and Year 11 as it will be the last time we play together as a band.”

Philip plays piano, but Mr Gibbs persuaded him to try the tuba when he formed the wind band.

He will now be forming a band to raise funds to help with university costs during his gap year.