MUSIC students at Headlands School enjoyed a week to playing with world music stars at the Musicport festival held at the Spa.
Fifty four music students from Year 7 through to Year 13 met members of Cuban band Asere, as well as Goldie’s Band 12lve, at the school last week.
After spending three days rehearsing and practising, the students produced a 30 minute set on the main stage of the festival on Friday evening.
Headlands School music teacher Zoe Backhouse said: “The students have all had the most amazing time meeting the musicians, getting to work with them and then of course playing on the evening.
“Working with Asere we had people in the audience who said that they got the Spanish lyrics just right, and that they really mastered the Cuban groove.
“I’ve spoken to some of the students involved back at school and they are still on a high because it was such an amazing experience for them.
“I think it has raised aspirations as they are still talking about it now, and a lot are now thinking about moving on to do music courses, which they may not have before.
“They all worked very hard and showed fantastic dedication to perform after hearing the songs on Tuesday, and having only Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to rehearse.”
Seven members of Goldie’s Band 12lve visited last Friday to give a workshop, answering students questions and playing an acoustic version of their track ‘Lifted’ before jamming with students.
On social networking site Twitter after the visit, the band wrote “Just finished an epic workshop with Headlands School. We love you guys!”.
Cuban band Asere went into school on Tuesday afternoon last week to play to the students, teaching them how to count the ‘clave’ rhythm upon which their music is based - while Wednesday to Friday was spent rehearsing and learning the set for the Musicport performance, which comprised of five Cuban tracks learnt in Spanish, and the cha-cha choreography to match.
Writing on a Musicport internet blog, Headlands student Sophie Brown said: “Every year, for the past four years, the Musicport Festival has been the highlight of the school calandar.
“We all learn so much about different cultures and the different music that goes with them and it is always a lot of fun to meet, work with and get to know the bands.
“I am gutted that this year will be my last Musicport but am so grateful for all of the skills I have learnt from flamenco guitar to cuban piano riffs.”
Music teacher Zoe Backhouse continues: “Members of the festival crowd came up to myself to tell us how amazing the students at Headlands were.
“They seemed genuinely impressed with the performance, and many commented that it was a fabulous performance in its own right.
“Even more impressive as it was a group of school students involved.”
Year 11 guitarist Hannah Sylvester said: “The performance went really well, and I think that everyone really enjoyed it on stage.
“The audience looked like they were enjoying it too. The performance sounded really good and everyone tried really hard to make it as good as possible.”
Imogen Townhill, a year 11 flautist, said: “In the performance, we were all mega-excited.
“The performance was awesome and we had an epic time. The audience was awesome as well, and everyone had an amazing time.”