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Easingwold School jazz musicians win awards in national festival

A jazz band consisting of students aged between 15 and 17 has won two of the three awards given out at the finals of the Music for Youth National Jazz Festival of at Birmingham Town Hall on 11th July. All eight members of the band, The Blue Sails, attend Easingwold School.Out of 23 school jazz bands which took part, three awards for performance and one for composition were given. The Blue Sails received the Highly Commended Performance Award. The band played three pieces at the festival, all composed by band member David Runciman, 17, who won the New Composition Award for ‘Skeleton Key’.Formed by Paul Dyson, then Director of Music, in the summer of 2005 - originally for a one-off performance at Easingwold School’s annual Junior Concert - the young musicians decided to carry on running the band themselves, rehearsing after school every Friday afternoon. Since then the band has played at numerous school concerts and at various private functions.The band, and its many supporters are now waiting to find out if The Blue Sails will be invited to perform in the Music for Youth Schools Prom at the Albert Hall in London in November.Following the band’s success in Birmingham, Easingwold School’s subject leader for music, Mike Monument, said: “The whole school is immensely proud of The Blue Sails’ achievement and is looking forward to their performances in the future.” Acting Head Teacher, Emma Robins, said: “These talented musicians represent everything we strive for at Easingwold School: hard work, achievement, creativity, initiative and students becoming increasingly independent. I love hearing the band rehearsing from my office, and I’m delighted that their talents have been recognised in this way.The musicians are David Runciman, Simon Finnegan, Tom Wood, Victoria Wills, Mattia Corda (standing in for Bill Hopgood), Kate Stewart, Michael Leese and Tim Barnes.


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