Pupils a hit at Battle of the Bands contest

Both bands pictured together, with head of music Susie Cochrane.
Both bands pictured together, with head of music Susie Cochrane.

Musicians from Alnwick’s Duchess’s Community High School emerged victorious at the annual Battle of the Bands competition, held at Newcastle’s Royal Grammar School at the end of last month.

Schools participated from all over the North East and the Duchess’s school took along two bands – Alnwickey, a traditional music band; and No Ocean, which was formed from musicians of the recent Rock of Ages production.

Other schools taking part included Royal Grammar School, Newcastle High School for Girls, Heaton Manor and Redhouse Academy. The first prize of a recording studio session and £300 of music vouchers was awarded to Alnwickey, made up of pupils Dan Lyst, Jamie MacAulay, Anna Maxwell, Jess Dobson and Zoe Gilroy.

The judges praised the band for its ‘raw talent’ and ‘exceptional musicality’. Meanwhile, No Ocean, comprising students Dan Lyst, Alex Rae, Anthony Newman, Jacob Crooks and Cerys Williams, walked away with the third prize of £100 vouchers. The judges singled out Cerys for particular praise as having ‘the best vocals of the night’.

Susie Cochrane, who is head of music at the Duchess’s, said: “The high school’s musicians are fantastic ambassadors for the school and they should take credit for all the hard work and commitment they have demonstrated throughout the year.

“This achievement should not be taken lightly; the standard was incredibly high and that they walked away with two of the top prizes, in this age of instant fame, is testament to their skills and maturity as musicians.

“They understand that success only comes from dedication and hard work and I am so delighted that they have been rewarded with such accolades.”