The Link
Head's Welcome

Sandbach School specialises in educating boys. Every aspect of school life is geared to create the right environment for boys to thrive. Statistically evidence from the UK and around the world demonstrates that boys achieve higher results and make better progress in single sex schools. We make no apology for focusing upon academic achievement and setting aspirational targets for our young men. But we balance this with a co-curricular programme of out of class activities which teaches our boys the need for hard work and effort before tasting success. Results academically are impressive: last year 89% achieved a level 4 or above in Maths, 80% in English and 75% gained the old measure of 5A*-C grades including English and Maths. All students left with qualifications which supported their chosen pathway – many returning to our Sixth Form but others gaining prestigious apprenticeships.

In other areas our boys have also excelled. Our aim is always to support them whatever their talent and passion and so the range of opportunity is truly expansive. We have had elite runners taking part by invitation in the London Mini Marathon. Students who have successfully made the national finals in table tennis and cross country. We are U16 county hockey champions and U14 runners-up. U13 Cheshire football champions and Cheshire County finalists in two other age groups. One of our students made the final of the percussion BBC Young Musician of the Year with another winning the best instrumental soloist at the National Youth Brass Band Championships. These are just a few of the successes from last year!

I hope that the website gives you a flavour of our ethos and values. If you would like to know more we warmly welcome you to visit us.

Mrs Sarah Burns


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Instrumental Lessons

Instrumental lessons at Sandbach School 2016-17  

Private music tuition is available in a full range of instruments. Over many years the peripatetic staff have provided tuition of a very high quality, prepared pupils for public exams and encouraged extra-curricular musical experiences. The School’s Wind Band and Junior Big Band are open to players of all abilities and the department proudly boasts ensembles for string, brass, woodwind, guitar, percussion and voice. The School also has a Big Band for those who have progressed through the Junior Big Band. Other ensembles which have developed at Sandbach are Brass Group, Saxophone Group, Flute Quartet, Trumpet Group, String Group, Percussion Ensemble, Senior and Junior Choirs. If you would like your son to have instrumental lessons, please email the tutors directly (email addresses can be found within each tutor biography).

Instrumental Teaching Staff



Ian Lang

Acoustic / Electric Guitar

Alastair Gambling

Classical Guitar

Ollie Collins

Bass Guitar

Laura Concar


Mark Concar

Percussion and Drum Kit

Tracey Martin

Clarinet, Saxophone and Theory

Natsumi McDonald

Brass and Theory

Joanne Bonney

Piano and Flute

Victoria Palethorpe


20 minute lesson = £8.17                      OR                  30 minute lesson = £12.25Fees for Lessons (Invoiced by the tutor directly) 

Information about our Tutors

Ian Lang – Electric and Acoustic Guitar

Ian has been teaching the guitar for 25 years (18 at Sandbach School) and is able to provide high quality teaching for any contemporary style. After leaving higher education, Ian played in several bands, most notably Small Change, who were signed to several major record companies during the late 1970's early '80's. After leaving Small Change, Ian embarked on a solo career, achieving top 20 singles in Scandinavia, Belgium and France. In recent years, Ian has combined teaching with an acoustic solo career that has seen a number 3 album placing in the UK Roots Chart and an annual tour of the United States. Other than Sandbach School, Ian teaches in several local Primary schools. Contact Ian...., or via his web site

Alastair Gambling – Classical Guitar

Mr Gambling has been working in classical guitar education for over twelve years.  He teaches throughout Cheshire both privately and for organisations such as the Love Music Trust and Music For Life.  He is music director of the LMT Guitar Orchestras and has extensive experience coaching children and adults individually or in ensembles, as well as providing  whole-class tuition in primary schools.  In addition he runs an adult evening group, the Cheshire Guitar Ensemble which holds workshops and events with renowned international soloists. Mr Gambling has been a mentor and coach at the last two World Youth Guitar Festivals.  He is a member of the Incorporated Society Of Musicians, the British Kodàly Academy, Chester Guitar Circle, and is chairman of the European Guitar Teachers’ Association (UK).

Ollie Collins – Bass Guitar

After graduating from Leeds College Of Music and Salford University. Ollie has enjoyed a career as both a freelance bass player and music educator. Over the last 15 years Ollie has held teaching positions in several schools in Cheshire and Greater Manchester. He has tutored guitar, bass guitar, double bass and drum kit. Within this time Ollie has also worked in Further and Higher Education level lecturing in music technology, composition, musicology and instrumental studies. These institutions currently include The Royal Northern College Of Music, Salford University and Manchester Metropolitan University. As a performer, Ollie has worked and collaborated with a variety of bands, theatre, ensembles and artists. These include; The Commitments, Opera North, Parlour Flames, Badly Drawn Boy and currently: Black Rivers. These opportunities have given Ollie the opportunity to perform at Glastonbury, Montreux Jazz and Isle Of Wight Festivals and venues such as the The Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall.

Laura Concar – Strings  - BMus(Hons)PGDip(Perf)RNCM

Laura studied the violin at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and went on to take her undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas at the Royal Northern College of Music. After graduating in 2002, Laura began her career as a professional freelance violinist and in 2007 was appointed the position of sub-principal 2nd violin in Northern Ballet Sinfonia. She also continues to enjoy a busy freelance orchestral career, regularly performing with the major orchestras in the North-West and has performed with Katherine Jenkins, Leslie Garrett, Bryn Terfel, José Carreras, Russell Watson, Aled Jones, Hayley Westenra, and Alfie Boe. Laura thoroughly enjoys teaching her instrument, and is well established in the area. She teaches at Sandbach School and Sandbach High School.

Mark Concar – Percussion and Drum Kit - BMus(Hons)RNCM PGDip(Perf)RNCM

Mark trained as a percussionist at the Royal Northern College of Music and since graduating in 2003, has worked regularly with all of the North West’s leading orchestras including BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Opera North, Manchester Camerata, Northern Ballet, Halle and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. In addition to his playing, Mark is the percussion tutor for the National Youth Wind Orchestra and is the Musical Director of the Love Music Trust Senior & Junior Percussion Ensembles. Over the past 10 years, as the Percussion/Drum Kit Tutor at Sandbach School, Mark has produced a wealth of high achieving students with many going on to music college and working as professional players and teachers within the music industry.

Tracey Martin – Clarinet and Saxophone -BMusRNCM PPRNCM

Tracey has 25 years’ experience as an instrumental tutor, privately and within primary and secondary schools teaching all ages from beginners to diploma level. She completed her honours degree and postgraduate diploma in professional performance at the Royal Northern College of Music and prior to that attained grade 8 in clarinet, saxophone and voice.  Currently Tracey teaches at both Sandbach Boys (for 18 years) and Girls schools and with the Love Music Trust Saxophone Orchestra.  She enjoys performing at various dance scenes throughout the UK, particularly tango and jive events which allows her to combine her two main passions - music and partner dancing. Tracey works with SwingVasion Dance Band in Manchester and Swing Sensation Big Band in Glasgow, and ReVamp, a local pub band. 

Natsumi McDonald  Brass and Theory – BMus (Hons) MA RNCM

Natsumi Inaba McDonald started playing the cornet at the age of 8 at primary school in Japan.  She came to the UK to study performance on euphonium with Glyn Williams and brass band arranging with Peter Graham at Salford University where she graduated with a 1st class honours degree from 2000 to 2004.  She continued her study with Steven Mead and David Thornton at the RNCM where she achieved a 1st class master degree and a professional performance diploma on euphonium.  She was also the British Open Solo champion in 2002 and a member of Foden’s Band from 2003 to 2014.

Joanne Bonney – Piano and Flute – BMus(Hons) GRNCM

After studying first at Chetham's School of Music, Joanne graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with a Bmus(hons) degree. While at college, she started a busy teaching career, teaching flute, piano and theory to pupils of all ages and abilities both privately and in schools. She also took the opportunity to freelance with orchestras in the UK and Spain. She enjoys performing a wide range of music from saxophone and piano duos to flute chamber music. She has been teaching at Sandbach School since 2005.

Victoria Palethorpe – Voice – BMUS, ALCM, PGCE

After graduating from Royal Holloway, University of London with a BMus (Hons),Victoria embarked upon a career in teaching and performing, working as a class teacher, head of music, a peripatetic tutor, Vocal Co-ordinator for Hampshire Music Service and currently Vocal Lead for the Love Music Trust.  She works with children aged 3 through to adults, running vocal projects, choirs and teaching individual singing lessons across the county. Victoria is delighted to be working as part of the team at Sandbach School from September 2015.

If you would like your son to have instrumental lessons, please email the tutors directly (email addresses can be found within each tutor biography).

Sandbach School@sandbachschool