The best of schools musical talent graced the stage of The Apex in Bury at the West Suffolk Schools Rock and Pop Awards.
The celebration of music, on February 27, followed a series of workshops at schools in the area with Sam Robson from Industry Education in Music and pop band Polar Collective.
Bands from nine schools, many of whom had only been together a matter of days, performed on stage to more than 400 people followed by a headline performance by Polar Collective to the delight of their excited fans.
At the event a panel of judges were given the daunting task of picking winners and runners up in four categories - Best Live Performance, Best Image, Best Musicians and Most Up and Coming.
But Sam Robson said the evening wasn’t about the awards, it was about showcasing the talent and potential of young people in the county.
He said: “I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved. “It was just lovely to see so much talent and enthusiasm all on one stage.
“What an excellent night of top quality music.”
First to perform were Wilson, a seven-piece from Ormiston Academy in Sudbury, who set the bar very high with an outstanding and accomplished performance.
Next up were five-piece Amerocks from Stowmarket High School, a band with a real rock attitude and a powerful song to match.
Eight-piece Violet Pursuit from Newmarket College were on next, performing their own superb and very catchy song, written just days before they were due on stage.
Same as Tomorrow, from Stowupland High School, performed just before the interval with a well-rehearsed and energetic slice of head-banging rock.
Once the audience had caught its breath, King Blood from Culford School shook the stage with their rock antics, a real accomplishment for a three-piece.
Next on were Third Alternative from Thurston Community College, a band with great stage presence and showmanship.
Beyond Revolutions, a four-piece from St Benedicts School, followed with a clever twist on Another Brick in Wall by Pink Floyd.
Up next were King Edward VI School’s four-piece, Us, with a tight and skilful performance of I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor by The Arctic Monkeys.
Last but not least were FUNKtion Junction, from County Upper School, with a skilful rendition of Johnny Be Goode by Chuck Berry.
As the judges snuck away to make their difficult decision, Polar Collective took to the stage to deafening cheers and screams.
After the band’s thrilling performance, compare Philip Shaw, Head of Suffolk County Music Service which funded the event, introduced the categories for awards.
The Most Up and Coming Award, sponsored by Frames Conservatories Direct Ltd, went to King Blood from Culford School with Stowmarket High School’s Amerocks coming runners-up.
The Best Live Performance Award, sponsored by Easton Otley College, went to Wilson, from Ormiston Academy, with Same as Tomorrow, from Stowupland High School, runners-up.
Next up was the Best Image Award, sponsored by Music Sales, which went to Beyond Revolutions from St Benedicts School with King Blood from Culford School receiving the runners-up certificate.
The final award, for Best Musicians, sponsored by West Suffolk College, went to FUNKtion Junction, from County Upper School with Beyond Revolutions as runners-up.
After the event, John Nice from Easton and Otley College, said: “It really was a fantastic night that showcased all the amazing musical talent that we have in West Suffolk.”
“It was a really tough call choosing winners and all the schools that took part should feel proud of their efforts.
““As main sponsor, we would like to thank all the schools and teachers for embracing this competition, the organisers, Polar Collective, all the parents and guardians for supporting their loved ones and of course all the bands who performed on the night.”
Philip Shaw said: “What a wonderful evening of outstanding musical talent, fully exploiting the fantastic opportunity to perform in such a prestigious professional venue, and to a hugely appreciative audience of their peers.
“It doesn’t get much better than this.”