Success for academy at festival

Some of the Northumberland Church of England Academy competitors in the Wansbeck Music Festival.

Some of the Northumberland Church of England Academy competitors in the Wansbeck Music Festival.

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There was plenty of success for pupils from the Northumberland Church of England Academy (NCEA) in this year’s Wansbeck Music Festival.

More than 300 students from its various schools – Josephine Butler Secondary Campus in Ashington and the primary campuses of William Leech in Lynemouth, Grace Darling in Newbiggin and Thomas Bewick, James Knott and Josephine Butler in Ashington – participated.

The successful Josephine Butler Primary Clarinet Group (woodwind ensemble).

The successful Josephine Butler Primary Clarinet Group (woodwind ensemble).

Many of them performed in ensembles including classical guitar groups, pop bands, flute choirs, steel pan groups and string ensembles.

Several categories were entered by the North East Cadet Pipes and Drums, who won categories such as ceilidh band, folk group, percussion ensemble and percussion band.

The academy, which hosted the festival for two days, also had a number of solo entries including flute, clarinet, guitar, voice and percussion.

Overall, NCEA were placed in 32 categories, winning over 25 cups, trophies and shields.

Matthew Lloyd and Emily Watson, under 11 woodwind duet winners.

Matthew Lloyd and Emily Watson, under 11 woodwind duet winners.

Some of the most notable performances from the festival included Sarah Yuille, who won first place with her expressive under 12 vocal solo Favourite Things from the Sound of Music against some very talented competition.

Georgia Surtees performed well in a number of categories but completely captivated the audience with her breathtaking self accompanied performance of She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5.

And Marvin Hanson not only wowed everyone with his own composition percussion solo, but he was also awarded the Audrey Simpson Shield and a £50 cheque for being the most promising under 16 performer in the competition.

NCEA head of music development Rebecca Glanville said: “The students’ hard work has been reflected in the many trophies that have been won across our campuses.

The Thomas Bewick violin group.

The Thomas Bewick violin group.

“They have really enjoyed competing against other schools and for many of our younger students, this was their first performance experience.

“Our team of peripatetic and classroom music teachers have worked tirelessly – not only to improve students’ instrumental skills, but also to help our young musicians grow in confidence over the last few months.

“We are very proud of what they have all achieved this term and can’t wait to enter again next year.”

The full NCEA recipients of accolades are as follows.

INDIVIDUAL PRIMARY

1st place awards – Sarah Yuille (William Leech), Rebekah Shotton (William Leech), Emily Watson and Matthew Lloyd duet (Josephine Butler), Cody Hudspeth (Josephine Butler).

INDIVIDUAL SECONDARY

1st place awards – Georgia Surtees, Keiron Gallon, Marvin Hanson, Kelsey McMarster, Thomas Barnes, Rachel Younger and Georgia Surtees duet; 2nd place awards – Samantha Young, Georgia Surtees, Samantha Young and Rebecca Linden duet; 3rd place awards – Molly McInnes, Skye Grant.

GROUPS

1st place awards – NCEA Choir, NCEA Steel Band and the Steel Pan Trio, NCEA Pop Band, NCEA Flute Choir, NCEA Guitar Ensemble, Josephine Butler Primary Clarinet Group, James Knott Primary Classical Guitar Group, Josephine Butler Choir, Grace Darling Primary String Groups (joint 1st); 2nd place award – Josephine Butler Primary Trombones.

There were also 1st place awards for the North East Pipes & Drums band based at NCEA Josephine Butler Campus which accepts cadets from across the region.