Exciting Shipston High School Musicians wow the Shipston Proms audience

The 17th Shipston Proms hosted a Shipston High School Summer Showcase concert at the school on 25th June, in association with Shipston High School Creative Arts. The show was hosted by Shipston High School Head of Music, David Hunt.

With students leaving after year 11, this meant it was the last concert for 4 students of the very popular soul group Battered Soul, that David Hunt had formed as a school project in 2012 (in which he has played trumpet). 

With some of the school’s PA system at Stratford Arts Centre for the latest Battered Soul concert, the concert kicked off in front of the stage with the Jazz Band giving us several well-played jazz tunes. The line-up was Sam Rawles (saxophone), Robert Linch (Trumpet), Hector Banks (trombone), Abel Wilson (piano), Oscar Wilson (double bass/electric bass), Luke Parker (electric guitar) and Jamie Pullen (drums).

In the last song trombonist Hector Banks, and Battered Soul member, went walkabout around the hall still playing his trombone!

Then we moved onto the soloists/duets with Lauren Powdrell (flute), Luke Parker (guitar), Abel Wilson (piano), then Abel Wilson with his brother Oscar on Double Bass in a family duet. Abel, who also plays cornet in Battered Soul had also appeared on drums supporting the Shipston Junior Band and on piano here, and as David Hunt mentioned a very versatile musician.

Then next up was solo from Olivia Godfrey (Flute) who was then joined by Lauren Powdrell (also on Flute) for a flute duet.

Up next at the stage front was another year 11 student (and Battered Soul’s bass player) explained first and then demonstrated his amazing guitar skills, which after the tremendous reception from the audience, David Hunt said that he thought you would struggle to see a better guitar player in any age of performer.

Then we moved onto the Brass Band which had been practicing with David Hunt in his room at lunchtime to refine their skills. They played a couple of numbers including the James Bond theme tune.

Following on the main stage we had the Year 10 GCSE Music Group with their four female vocalists and large supporting musicians. The sound was very strong female multi-part with great musical backing by the other students. This was the first time that the group had appeared in front of an audience, which was not just school assembly.

The line-up was Amber Hourigan, Isabel Scholes, Savannah Eden Kesber & Kerry Adams (vocals), Sam Rawles (saxophone), Abel Wilson and Harry Self (Piano), Harry Mack (bass guitar), Arthur Willis and Bertie Wells (guitar) and Lauren Powdrell and Olivia Godfrey (flute).

Then up on the main stage we had another one of the year 11 Battered Soul members, Will Packer (keyboards), showing us his wide repertory of keyboard skills with a couple of songs.

Next up we had a section of solo, duets & trios with Maddy Thomas (vocals to backing track), then Bertie Wells (guitar), Battered Soul member Sam Rawles (saxophone) and Amber Hourigan (vocals) as a trio.

Then a performance of Little Bird from Bertie Wells (guitar) and Amber Hourigan and Isobel Scholes on vocals. Then the vocals of Savannah and Amber to a backing track and then Savannah and Bertie with one of the songs they played at the Shipston Proms Fame Contest.

Also part of this section was year 11 student, and Battered Soul singer, Chaley Mack with three songs on guitar with her accomplished impassioned singing voice. Her songs included a Beyonce song Mine along with one of her own compositions Kissin in the Rain. 

This new song had been debuted at the Stratford Folk Club comes to Shipston session at the Black Horse as part of the Shipston Proms. She is also appearing at the Stratford Folk Club’s FabFest (July 19th) as part of group Blue Cushions.

Then the very distinctive lead singer/guitarist Ben Bryan of soul group Battered Soul came on stage for his final school music concert, as he is a year 11 student and so moving on to another school/college.

He gave us two numbers on electric guitar, with his powerful vocals, of Why does it always rain on me (Travis) and Slow Dancin’ in a Burning room (John Mayall). After which he gave a heartfelt speech thanking David Hunt (Head of Music) for his help, guidance and encouragement of his musical talents, and said he wouldn’t be where he was with David’s help.

Then the headline act was Shipston Proms Fame Contest winner Toby Coffey. Toby is a 12-year-old student in year 7, and after impressing David Hunt with a demonstration after Easter with his strong singing ability, was allowed to enter the Fame Contest.

At the Fame Contest on 20th June, in The Townsend Hall, he was up against 4/5 other contestants in the solo/duet section and his impassioned expressive singing style won over judging panel by a small margin. His prize was to appear on the main stage at the final Shipston Proms Independence Day Party on 4th July in the main square in the centre of Shipston-on-Stour.

David Hunt thanked the audience for their patients during set changes and thanked them for coming. Then Shipston Proms organiser Tim Porter thanked the musicians and audience for coming and encouraged them to attend other Proms events, along with the final evening on 4th July, featuring the Fame Contest winners, The Peas, Duke and headline act Creedence Clearwater Revived.

Exciting Shipston High School Musicians wow the Shipston Proms audience
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 25 June 2015
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Young Musicians impress in Barcheston for Shipston Proms