Wind Band Enjoy the Aussie Influence!

On Monday 11th November during period 5, The Wind Band enjoyed an hour of rehearsal with a musician called Matt Styles who teaches at Waapa (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) in Perth. He has done concerts with the Malaysian Symphony Orchestra, Diana Ross and Tim Minchin!

The students rehearsed two pieces with him and got a chance to ask questions at the end of the session.

As a saxophonist, Matt ran a focus workshop after school for 5 of our Big Band saxophone players: Peter Savvides, Pete Mitchyn, James Thorne, Harry Davies and Harry Myers. They each performed a piece and got advice and feedback from Matt which proved to be very successful.

A big thank you to all involved. 


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Cheshire film ready to roll

A new South Cheshire film production is on schedule after it received full backing from several local organisations.

Foden’s Brass band, Sandbach School and the Love Music Trust will all play a significant role in helping to deliver Brass in the Blood that is set in and around Sandbach, telling the story of Foden’s world-famous brass band.  The storyline follows love-struck teen Harry Stone, a young cornet player who is desperate to make the senior band (screenplay written by local author Jules Hornbrook).

A number of scenes will be filmed at Sandbach School (boys), something that delights Head Teacher Sarah Burns. “The script rings true to local traditions bringing with it modern ideas that all age groups will be able to relate to with ease. The film being set in the local area is a truly exciting prospect for the school, our pupils and the community.”  Pupils at the school have already begun their contribution to the project throughout a variety of subjects in collaboration with the national curriculum allowing them to engage in a currently developing project, an opportunity which will continue throughout pre and post production.

Adam Shilton, prominent musician, producer and composer in residence of The Cooperative Funeralcare Band North West is developing a unique brass score, a first for a movie.  “The historic relevance of the band and the factories impact on the community is huge.  Fodens are one of the most celebrated and successful brass bands in the country, containing top class dedicated musicians that work tirelessly to maintain their deserved reputation. To be able to document their history (and the inclusion of other local bands) in the form of a film with a bespoke score is something that must be done for the community and the brass band movement.  The community have come together for the band and the factory over the years; I hope they do again for this.”

For Mark Wilkinson, Foden’s Band Manager and principle cornet, the emphasis on brass music grabbed his attention. “One of the exciting things about the project is that it will be the first to work with an original score for brass band alongside the film, rather than perhaps using arrangements or orchestral transcripts; it’s very exciting.”

John Barber, Foden’s Band Chairman and principle trombone, added: “To have the opportunity to be involved with a fresh project that’s going to bring what we do in our local area to a national light is a hugely positive thing, and we’re very much looking forward to being involved with it.”  

The project brings the opportunity for local businesses to be involved, such as The Love Music Trust “A very interesting project with huge potential that will stay close to the community – providing the local area with a whole host of opportunities, it’s great to be a part of it” and the film’s official web sponsor ‘Repair World Direct’ who stated “we are delighted to be involved in this creative and unique local project with international reach, it means much more to us than just a business and association partnership because of the personal links to the local people that are making this happen. We are very proud to be a part of something that we think will be truly amazing. A sincere thank you for giving us the opportunity to be associated with Brass in the Blood.”

Adam Shilton added “our motto is ‘inspire the future’ and Brass in the Blood has been specifically developed to showcase the undiscovered talent of all ages that we have in this area, furthermore to give people the chance to gain experience in what could become a potential career.”

The project is now in pre-production ahead of casting beginning in November. Anyone interested in getting involved can see interviews, production information, casting and details about investment opportunities on the official website

A full feature film entitled Brass in the Blood set in and around Sandbach begins filming early 2014:

This is your chance to be involved! The production company are beginning casting auditions at Sandbach School on Sunday 17th November.  There are a number of roles up for grabs to people of all ages and more information can be found on the website


The Producers!

To say that ‘The Producers’ is an ambitious show to stage would be an understatement. Everything about Mel Brooks’ masterpiece is a challenge – the set, the costumes, the music, the accents, the humour! Everybody has to work extremely hard for the show to work and that is exactly what the cast and crew in Sandbach School’s production did. 

The two leads, Nick Cope and Lucas Bailey, did a fine job of keeping the pace (and their Yiddish Bronx accents) going with strong support from the likes of Nathan Leigh, Danny Powell and an excellent Richard Brown.  Mr Barber’s little troop of musicians were superb, especially Matthew Brett on percussion – his skills on the Xylophone belie his tender years. 

The set was amazing and the costumes spectacular. The props were ingenious (saluting pigeons et al) and the pyrotechnics and ballistics impressive but the real stars of the show were the technical and back stage crews.  The scene changes were orchestrated and executed seamlessly and praise should go to the Stage Managers – Chris Fowler and Dan Edwards, for their tremendous work.  A baptism of fire too for the School’s new Drama Technician, Mr Dave Taylor, who hit the ground running with this production and as Technical Director did a sterling job of helping Mr Lonsdale turn his dream to reality. 

Congratulations to all involved.

“Please pass on to John Lonsdale and all involved. “A Huge Well Done”

We came to tonight’s performance of “The Producers” and had a fantastic time, the cast performed, as good as any professional cast that we have seen on stage. We are very proud to be parents of a Sandbach School Student.”

“Just home from the Friday night performance of The Producers. Every time we come to the school for an event we think the boys can’t do better and every time they excel! What a brilliant brilliant show the acting and music were wonderful. And to steal a line…break a leg for tomorrow night. Well done and thank you.”

“Cannot get over how brilliant The Producers was last night. Fantastic effort by all involved. Very well done!”

“Just watched the Producers @SandbachSchool What an amazing performance – huge congratulations to all involved”

“Brilliant production of The Producers, I laughed all the way through.”

“The Producers @SandbachSchool. Hilarious, just brilliant. A LOT of work gone into that! Well done everyone involved & big respect to Lonny!”

“Hats off to all involved in @SandbachSchool‘s ‘The Producers‘ tonight.  It was epic. Stage crew were fantastic, set, costumes…”

Send your comments about The Producers to

(most Photos by Alex Robinson, Year 9)

Brass in the Blood

A major motion picture telling the story of Sandbach’s world-renowned Foden’s Band has taken a step closer to reality.

Entitled Brass in the Blood, a script and a musical score are under development, and the writers believe that the project has the potential to bring global attention on the county.

The project is a collaboration between MMU Cheshire, South Cheshire College and Sandbach School together with the band, whom are the current British Open and National Champions.  The film is being developed by Adam Shilton, a PhD music student at MMU and a current member of staff at Sandbach School, part of which has seen him challenged to produce a musical score for brass, something completely new and unique in the film world.

“There’s a tale about how Foden’s first backed the band and the hardship everyone went through when the lorry firm went bust which of course had an impact on the whole community”.

“They survived and went on to prosper, moving forward from generation to generation.”

“We’ve got a great chance of bringing some great organisations together and producing a high end product.  This project brings a unique opportunity for the county, providing a vehicle to showcase the massive talent that is within it in a national capacity.  We have a wealth of expertise and experience on board and with the backing of local businesses and community we are aiming for the highest levels”.

“Of course the film will feature many local students, the public and locations – although we haven’t ruled out bringing in a few surprise faces”.

More information can be found at and website will shortly be launched