Sandbach School music department has a long tradition of musical performance coupled with excellent examination results. The opportunities afforded to the pupils who choose to study the A – level in music here are truly unique and set out to give the individual an insight into the high demands of and experience first-hand professional music making.
Each year the department organises and participates in an average of 60 public performances. In addition to school commitments (Commemoration Day, Carol service, Christmas concert, Awards Day etc.) the department takes the opportunity to travel, ranging from the Cheshire Show and the Bridgewater Hall, to performances at the Edinburgh Festival (where the Big Band received two 4* reviews) and in the past few years tours to New England (USA) Berlin and Istanbul. The department has celebrated many years of success in the Cheshire Schools’ Music Competition having won the secondary ensemble category with the big band and now our newly formed ‘The Brass Boys’ in 2014.
The department has established links and performance opportunities with many professional individuals and organisations in the music world that allows the student to gain invaluable experience:
The Foden’s Brass Band performs regularly at Sandbach School and is a permanent fixture in our annual summer concert. At these concerts, opportunities exist for some of our senior players (not exclusively brass) to work with and perform as soloists with this incredible ensemble. This is truly a unique opportunity for any young aspiring musician.
Andy Scott is professor of Saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and Composer in Residence for the Foden’s Brass Band. We are fortunate to be able to welcome Andy into school on regular occasions to lead improvisation and composition classes as well as writing for many of our school ensembles (Andy was Sandbach School composer in Residence for two years).
Matthew Ford was for five years the lead singer with the legendary Syd Lawrence Orchestra and since that time has fronted most of the country’s leading Orchestras. For the past 4 years has performed concerts with the Sandbach School Big Band working alongside not only or instrumentalist but taking the opportunity to nurture some of our young vocal talent also.
Sandbach School Music Department continues to nurture vocal work and have recently been involved in a project called Singing Playgrounds with the professional vocal performance group, Ex-Cathedra. Through our local music hub, The Love Music Trust, we enjoy opportunities to perform at their events and encourage our students to attend instrumental courses and ensembles across the county. Many of our students are members of our local music groups e.g. Lions Youth Brass, Foden’s Youth Band, Crewe Co-op wind band, Love Music Trust Percussion Ensemble and Love Music Trust Big Band. We currently also have a number of our pupils attending the Junior RNCM and the Hallé Youth Orchestra.
The department offers specialist tuition in all orchestral instruments in addition to voice, electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, drums and percussion. Our peripatetic tutors have a great record in progressing students and helping them to realise their full potential.
Above all, we strive to provide an engaging and creative musical classroom which is supported and extended by excellent extra-currricular performance opportunities.