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|Archives||A Brief History|
A NEW DAWN BREAKS
The newly created Worcester School of Rock and Performance got underway for the first time on Saturday September 25th (2004) at Christopher Whitehead School, Bromwich Road. The new improved version of 'Saturday Rockschool', is lead by ace guitarist, Brian Hoggard, and aims to be be totally 'student-focused'. Who knows what this new venture might lead to? Whatever, you can be sure it will be large amounts of fun liberally mixed with large quantities of sound. DON'T MISS OUT! Get enrolling just as soon as you can.
Worcester School of Rock & Performance is also proud to announce that they have obtained sponsorship from both Music City and Seventh Wave Rehearsal Studios! Music City will be giving prizes at the end of term show to students who we (the staff) feel have put in the most work over the term. This is not the first time that Steve from Music City has helped out in this way so if you’re passing his shop on the Tything do pop in and say thanks! Seventh Wave are offering a discounted rate to WSRP students. Through the week WSRP students will be able to hire rooms there for £8p/hr instead of the usual £9. On Saturday afternoons you get to hire for £7p/hr which is even better! Make sure to say thanks to Kev at Seventh Wave next time you see him.
2004 SUMMER SHOW DVD
The DVD of last term’s Summer Show has now been produced and the finishing touches are now being made to the cover art by one of our students. It’s looking great! It’s a double-DVD and is available at £10 per copy. This DVD is a strictly limited edition – there are only 25 copies available. So if you want one it’ll be on a first come first serve basis. If you want one, you can contact Brian on 01905 745575 to put your name on the list ASAP. While we’re talking about DVD’s… Martin Hyatt was the parent who very kindly filmed and produced the DVD’s for our last two shows. We are extremely grateful to Martin, Jo and (of course) Mike for all the hard work they put in to producing this for us and we wish them the best of luck now that they’ve moved to sunny Queensland, Australia! So there is now a vacancy for new movie producer here at WSRP. Please get in touch if you think you can help us.
HOGGARD TAKES OVER
After more than six years as lead tutor, Mick Jones finally bowed out of Saturday Rockschool. Mick said "I simply can't thank you all enough for your support over the years. Rockschool has been a special part of my life, and I shall miss the team and the students more than you can imagine. It's been a real privilege for me, and I wish Brian and everyone huge amounts of success in the future."
The new man at the helm is Brian Hoggard. Brian is a fine guitarist, and has an interesting multi-faceted background. An expert in the field of archaeology, he also has great organisational skills, and boundless enthusiasm for the Rockschool project. He is ideally placed to take the Rockschool to greater successes, and everyone wishes him well in his new role.
Brian says, ‘I regard it as a huge privilege and honour to be made lead-tutor of the Rock School. In the short time that I’ve been with the Rock School I’ve become totally engaged with it and think it is simply the most brilliant thing that I’ve ever been a part of. I promise to the students and the staff that I’ll do my best to keep all the good stuff good and only to make changes where it appears those changes could ADD to the excellent formula that Mick has already created. The rock school owes it’s existence to Mick, and on behalf of all the staff and students of the current (Spring) term I’d like to extend a hearty thank you to him for giving us all the opportunity to be part of such an amazing thing! We all wish you the most heartfelt best wishes in your future life and want you to know that you are welcome to drop in any time. Your contribution to what we do will never be forgotten. Thanks Mick!’
XMAS SHOW (2003)
A superb day to round off the Autumn term. Lots of new faces, new talent, and not before time, 'cheerio' to Mick Jones.
In spite of the low turnout for Junior Rockschool this term, the faithful few showed that they were well capable of turning out a first rate performance. Ellie, Mica, Mitchell and Zak opened the show like seasoned professionals. We thought Brian May had turned up as a surprise guest until we realised that Tom Kendrick had raided the theatre group's wig box. Rockschool's second all-female band, 'Closer Apart', also made their mark with their first ever public appearance, and what an excellent way for them to start out. The overall standard of musicianship seems to improve steadily from show to show, and it is simply impossible to mention every praiseworthy performance. The show as a whole was once again a tribute to all the hard graft put in by students and tutors. Particular congratulations must go to Ali Gittens, who was in charge of sound for the first time. Mixing a WCT Rockschool show is a huge challenge for any sound engineer, and Ali did a simply brilliant job. Thanks Ali!
RAMPANT ROCKFEST: 13th July 2003
At the request of Rockschool students, the 'end of year' show was dedicated to raising funds to support the Nathan Spiers Memorial Skatepark. A fantastic £1,000 was raised. This achievement is impressive enough, but doesn't take account of the hard work that has been put into the music itself over recent months. One highlight worth mentioning, was the opening number, with Mel Ballard fronting the tutors band in a performance of 'Search In My Soul'. In spite of the fact that Mel has been with us (with a break or two!) for some time, this was her first performance at a Rockschool event. She did not disappoint! What a treat, and how better to get such a special show underway? With such a huge show to review, it is difficult to pick out individual highlights, but one of the aspects of general picture at Rockschool is that bands like, New Breed, Euphony, and Caught In The Vibe, are not just growing in musical confidence, but they are are strengthening their own musical identities. This is great for everyone involved! Another big plus is that the younger bands are not only mixing it with their older pals/rivals, but they are also starting to produce some really good original material. Take 'Maybe' by 'Slideshow for example. Although this is the product of people right at the start of their musical careers, it is nevertheless an extremely well constructed number. Let's hope it will act as encouragement to still more Rockschool bands to have a crack at their own compositions.
For the first time, Rockschool let rip at the Worcester Rugby Club's marquee. It was a scorching day, everybody loved the venue, and an amazing £1,000 was raised towards the Nathan Spiers Memorial Skatepark. Huge and multiple thanks must go to all the Rockschool tutors, Jez, Pete, Bryan, Mel, Marie and Keith for their hard work during the day, and also to all those helpers, like Ryan, Debbie, Ed and Dave. A humungous 'ta' to Jethro Hill for helping on the desk, and for twanging a couple of twelve bars, and to the Rugby Club staff themselves for looking after us with both charm and patience beyond the call of duty.
What a brilliant day! Congratulations to all the students on their hard work. Please keep grafting, because it really is the graft that makes the difference. Musical success rarely happens by chance!
END OF SPRING TERM BASH: 5th April 2003
The theatre at 'St Andrews' was packed to the nines for our end of term 'playout'. There was a great atmosphere as always with the room full of supportive and vocal Rockschool fans. The juniors kicked off in the traditional Rockschool format, with an arrangement of the James Bond Theme ably led by James Power. For a group of kids who turn up for a bit of fun on Saturday mornings, they don't half produce some results. With so many highlights it seems mean to single out a particular item, but Tom Clarke's vocal performance was outstanding by any yardstick! How nice it is too to see the younger bands mixing it with the older groups, and how nice to see them having a go at their own material too.
THE RYAN LERIGO DRUMATHON 2003
What a day it was! Massive "thank you's" to all you lovely, lovely people who turned up to play along with Ryan or who came just for moral support! The most general comment from observers was not just:- "Wow, how can you keep playing drums for ten hours?", but... "Wow, how can you keep playing FULL ON drums like THAT for ten hours?" The final balance handed across the counter at Lloyds bank in Evesham was £200, and the whole idea sprang from Ryan's personal aim to do a ten hour marathon before his 17th birthday.
MARRS BAR SPECIAL
featuring BACKWASH and CREDIT, with support band EUPHONY
Tuesday 21st January- 7.30pm
Well, what a great night it was!! Over 150 people packed into the Marrs Bar on a Tuesday night(!), the only complaint we had was from the barman who had to ring for extra staff to help him cope! All three bands brought some of their own supporters, and all three bands got deservedly great support from the whole room. The Marrs Bar is always a good venue for atmosphere, and it was excellent to see Worcester's favourite music venue packed with so many smiling faces. Thank you to everyone who came, for making it such a special event. Will we do it again? Who knows what the future may hold? (Cue the scary music!!)
Judges go for the heavy metal girlies!
Two more excellent performances under the Saturday Rockschool belt. Congratulations to everyone who took part, and thanks again to all our lovely tutors and our even lovelier judges. This was the first time we had a competitive element in a Saturday Rockschool show, and the first time we had a ready made band amongst our team of helpers. Well done to Carly, Charlie and Justine on getting the judges vote. Several parents whose offspring have been with us some time said they felt it was the best Rockschool show yet. Their comments and encouragement are exactly what we want to hear.
Worcester College of Technology Saturday Rockschool was started in September 1997. The founder members of the tutor team were Mick Jones, Jez Cole, Ria Keene, and Billy Craythorne. Although Billy, Ria and most recently Mick,have moved on, Rockschool has been fortunate to benefit from the dedication of some highly experienced and dynamic people. The very first show was held at Bishop Perownes School at the end of the first academic year (Summer 98). Subsequently, the Performing Arts Studio at the St Andrews Building on Deansway became the regular venue for shows.
When Rockschool first started, Worcester College of Technology had relatively little in the way of music technology gear and/or PA equipment, but thanks to investment by the Music Technology Department, and also the Adult Education Unit, an excellent range of goodies was acquired to help those aspiring rock stars on their way.
Shows were not originally held on a termly basis, but usually took place at least twice a year. There have been many highlights, but perhaps one of the best was the launch of the first Rockschool CD in July 2001. Most important of all, many former Rockschool students are now working in bands around Worcester. We are proud that so many young musicians 'cut their teeth' courtesy of Saturday Rockschool. Anyone who came to the Marrs Bar Special on 21st January 2003 will have seen the evidence for themselves.
Over the years, Rockschool benefited from the energy and skills of some fantastic tutors and some dedicated helpers. To try and list them all would be dangerous, since someone crucial would almost certainly get missed inadvertently. After recent events lead to a team decision to set up the project on an independent basis, the continued success (under the leadership of Brian Hoggard) is the best possible tribute to the quality of the foundations laid by former tutors and helpers. To anyone whoever contributed to this project in any way at all. THANK YOU!