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Durrington students wow at S’koolfest

On the evening of Wednesday 23rd May DHS students were delighted to take part in the annual S’koolfest organised by Northbrook Met music department and held at The Pavilion Theatre, Worthing. S’koolfest is a fantastic opportunity for local school students to showcase their musical talent, but it is also a competition with several awards up for grabs. The 5 judges were Dan Clark of the Rock School Awards, Eugenie Arrowsmith of the Featured Artists Coalition, Jacob Aaron of the Reign and Frankie Day and Ellie Talebian of Juice FM.

We were delighted that DHS students were awarded prizes and that overall the school won the main prize, a GAK mini-PA system, which was awarded on the basis of level of school participation. This is a fantastic achievement and testament to the support and opportunities given to students by our performing arts department.  All students that took part have been offered the chance to record their song at Northbrook Met on Saturday 9th June.

The students that were taking part headed down to The Pavilion in the afternoon so they could rehearse on stage and ensure they were fully prepared. The audience began to filter in around 6.30pm and by 7pm the auditorium was full. If this made our students nervous, they didn’t show it as they waited patiently back stage or in the auditorium.

The show was opened by the S’koolfest choir who had only had the afternoon to rehearse and got the show off to a great start. Then it was the turn of DHS’s first performers, the group ‘Masterplan’ who sang their self-penned song Needle in a Haystack. They performed it brilliantly and received a rapturous applause. The group received great feedback from the judges who said they had ‘lots of potential to build on already fantastic song writing. Once the confidence comes, they will be dangerous!’ We were delighted that Masterplan were awarded ‘Best Original Song’ and their prize is a one to one masterclass with MET staff published songwriting tutor Megan Clifton.

Next to perform was the Durrington High School Choir who performed The Sound of Music acapella, a song written by year 11 student Love Onwuzuruike. The judges were very impressed saying it was ‘well organised musically with an uplifting message.’

Eden Pailthorpe-Peart then joined the choir to play the piano and sing a Daniel Caesar/Beatles mash up. The judges thought she had a ‘wonderful warm tone and relaxed delivery which worked perfectly with the choir.’ This performance was runner up for the Best Backing Vocals Award.

The next DHS student to take to the stage was Faith Onwuzuruike, who played piano and sang her own song How About we make a Deal. The judges awarded Faith the ready to fly award and the songwriting potential prize, commenting that she had ‘soul, soul, soul and a great tone’ and that the song was ‘beautifully written and arranged for one so young’ she is ‘a songwriting talent, no doubt.’ 

The final performers from DHS were Millie Whiteside & Tia Poole, who sang and drummed their self-written song Headphones. Again they were fantastic and the judges were well impressed saying ‘simultaneously singing and drumming is an incredible talent. As the confidence built, the tone of the lead singer came through.’

We are very proud of all the students that took part and are very grateful to music teacher Miss Maughan and Director of performing arts, Mrs Isham, for supporting the students and enabling them to have these fantastic opportunities to develop their skills and experience.