Rudgwick pupils triumph in national music competition

The pupils were thrilled with their new instruments
The pupils were thrilled with their new instruments

Pupils at a Rudgwick school have triumphed in a national music competition to win an innovative new instrument.

Pennthorpe School won a prize of ten pBones and ten pCornets, a new type of plastic brass instrument made by pBuzz, donated by Warwick Music.

Their challenge was to submit a video of their performance of ‘Create a buzz’ - music composed specially for the competition.

The composer Jonathan Bates said: “After viewing all of the entries, Pennthorpe School were my favourite.

“I feel the outreach in the community and wide range of performance opportunities, coupled with inventive filming made them stand out.”

Director of music at Pennthorpe, Linda Cole, is no stranger to brass bands.

As well as playing the piano, Linda was an accomplished tenor horn player until her love of conducting took over.

She added: “It was while I was teaching year three to play tenor horn that I saw the competition advertised in Music Teacher magazine, and decided that this was definitely for us, to get the opportunity to try out the pBuzz and to aim to win the instruments for Pennthorpe School.

“When the instruments arrived, the children took to them straight away; they were much easier to play, and they could take them home!

“The ‘Create a buzz’ piece that Jonny composed was brilliant and the children loved it. It really inspired them to want to learn to play the instruments.”

Linda teamed up with one of her old bands, Horsham Borough, to record the performance at the bandstand in the Carfax.

Geoff Clarke, chairman of Horsham Borough was a guest at the presentation.

He said: “It’s great for the local brass band to be able to support Linda and the children at Pennthorpe.

“We wish them every success in their future endeavours and look forward to working with them again.”

The instruments were presented to Linda and the children by Darren Lea, development manager at Warwick Music.

Darren congratulated all the children on their fantastic achievement during a special assembly.

Darren said: “Hats off to Linda and all the staff here, we are looking forward to seeing how they [the pupils] develop to the next stage of brass playing with the pCornet and pBone instruments.

“Wouldn’t it be great to see some of these students lifting the national trophy in a few years time!”

Earlier in the day, Jonathan Bates led the children in a pBuzz workshop, where they composed pieces and performed them for Linda, Darren, Jonny, Jane Stewart, ambassador for Brass Band England in the South East, and Alice Monk from the Horsham charity Music for All.

Jane added: “It was great to see the smiles and looks of amazement on their faces.

“I’m sure that Linda and the children at Pennthorpe will have a fantastic time learning to play cornet and trombone, and I hope that they will be encouraged to continue this by eventually joining a brass band.”