An explosion of top musical talent hit the stage at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds at the West Suffolk Schools Rock and Pop Awards last Thursday.
Seven young bands rocked the venue at the glittering awards night headlined by Britain’s Got Talent finalist Sam Kelly.
Awards were handed out for Best Live Performance, Best Image, Best Musicians and Most Likely to Make it Big as well as highly commended certificates for those the judges thought deserved special credit.
The night of entertainment followed a programme of music industry workshops across the county delivered by Sam Robson from Industry Education in Music and Sam Kelly.
Sam said the event, sponsored by Easton-Otley College, Havebury Housing, Suffolk County Council and the Bury Free Press, was a culmination of weeks of hard work.
He said: “The calibre of the bands was great.
“A lot of them had never played anything like this size of venue, it is a real experience for them.
“Many of them said they were really nervous before going up on stage - but once they came off they wanted to jump back on.”
Should be Kings, a band made up from students from Stowupland and Stowmarket High Schools, won the Best Musicians and Most Likely to Make it Big categories.
Guitarist Mark Hughes said: “It is brilliant.
“We didn’t expect to win anything, we just came out here to have fun really.
“It is an amazing venue, the best we have ever played - it sounds so good in there.”
Sam Robson said: “To be able to say they have supported Sam Kelly and played at the Apex is a huge thing for these young people and should inspire them in whatever they decide they want in the future.”
Click the link on the right to see a gallery of all the award winners.
Best Live Performance: Winner - Lost Lungs (Amplitude Music Club, Stowmarket); Highly Commended - My Love Acoustic (Stowmarket High School)
Best Image: Winner - Soft Like Camel (County Upper School); Highly Commended - Usual Illusions (Newmarket College)
Best Musicians: Winner - Should Be Kings (Stowupland High School) Highly Commended: Vanishing Point (Mildenhall College)
Most Likely to Make it Big: Winner - Should Be Kings (Stowupland High School); Highly Commended - Taxi To Nowhere (Holbrook High School)