Sponsors’ enthusiasm for pop awards

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Sponsors of the West Suffolk Schools Rock and Pop Awards have spoken of their enthusiasm of getting behind the intiative which develops talented youngster’s skills.

Easton and Otley College is the main sponsor of the scheme, which allows secondary school musicians to learn from industry experts before showcasing their craft at an awards night at The Apex.

Havebury Housing Partnership is also a category sponsor of the initiative organised by Industry Education in Music in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the Bury Free Press.

Workshops will be held at seven schools across the county with singer-songwriter Sam Kelly, who was a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent.

Those taking part are the Amplitude Project, in Stowmarket, Bury County Upper, Holbrook High, in Ipswich, Mildenhall College, Newmarket College, Stowmarket High and Stowupland High.

One band from each school will be hand picked to battle it out for four accolades including best live performance, best image, best musicians and most likely to make it big at the awards night on February 28.

A spokesman for Easton and Otley College said they were sponsoring the awards because they believe in ‘encouraging individual skills and expertise and helping people achieve outside of the run-of-the-mill activities’.

He added: “The college is very pleased to be part of West Suffolk Schools promotion and is very happy to support all individuals who are taking their talent further and developing themselves and their talent through these awards.

“The courses offered by Easton and Otley College are vocational, hands-on and practical which relate to the industry and job needs – we have a high level of employment for our students following completion of their courses. Not only do our courses nurture practical skills, the college’s environment develops key skills like confidence and independence – traits which aren’t too dissimilar to those needed to get up on stage.

“Easton and Otley College can provide a level of teaching and experience which appeals to a post-16 audience. Therefore, as part of every colleges information, advice and guidance responsibility, it is crucial that events like the West Suffolk Schools Rock and Pop Awards provide students with the opportunity to discover alternative pathways including practical and academic routes.”

Meanwhile, Havebury Housing Partnership is backing a category to help build on its community links.

Mark Jepson, communities manager, said: “Being one of the sponsors provides Havebury with a fantastic opportunity to be part of an event with local schools where our tenants’ children attend.

“Havebury hopes to use these awards to build on the excellent partnerships we are developing with other local organisations and establish more activities for younger people in St Edmundsbury.”