The Wallace High School held its first ever Battle of the Bands last week, raising over Â£800 for Meningitis Research and Macmillan Cancer Relief. Representatives from both charities came along to the school’s packed Assembly Hall to see eight bands compete for a range of superb prizes.
The evening also gave Wallace pupils and their friends and family from across Lisburn an insight into the work of the two charities with Susan Cunningham from Meningitis Reserch and Sylvia Jeffrey from Macmillan Cancer Relief showing videos and highlighting how the money would be spent. Both charities were extremely appreciative of the much needed money and were delighted at the innovative fundraising method. The difficult task of deciding on the winners rested with the evening’s three judges, all Northern Ireland music experts.
Belfast City Beat DJ Maurice Jay and an experienced performer in bands and professional theatre as well as former sound engineer for bands such as Marillion, T’Pau and Hazel o’Connor, chaired the judging panel andhe was ably assisted by Wallace’s Head of Geography Torry McGahey, a member of The Illegals and Pete O’Neill from Fortune Cookie Music who was formerly a bassist with Therapy and Joyrider.
Lisburn’s Closer Studios sponsored the first prize – an incredible full day’s recording time – which was won by “EGO” – Lower Sixth pupils Peter Noble, Ryan Mitchell, Gregg Taylor and Peter McCauley who have been working together for eighteen months. their performances of Incubus’ “Wish you were here” and their self penned ” The Feeling” were met with great applause from the 400 strong crowd.
Second prize, an opportunity to perform in Londonderry’s Nerve Centre Schools’ Gig was won by “Tranquil Lies” – Fiftth Years Eddie McMullan , Jay Kerr, Peter Coleman and Clark Phillips, who were also thrilled to hear that their song ” Honest! ” had won Â£50 of Matchetts vouchers for its originality.
Clark Phillips commented, “We’re really looking forward to theNerve Centre gig after our GCSEs as it will widen our fan base. It was great for Wallace to give us all this fantastic opportunity.”
The Award for Best Novice band went to the youngest competitors, “Two Sides of Nothing”, including second years Harry Bateman, Chris Scott and Jordan Watson along with third year Scott Phillips, who covered songs by Red Hot Chilli Pepppers and Offspring. Lisburn School of Music sponsored their prize , a gig at the Island Centre on 18th March.
All of the bands taking part were of an exceptionally high standard and congratulations must go to “Sane Revolution” , “Antidisestablshmentarianismers”, ” Freeway” “Peace and Love” and ” Myth” for their superb performances.
Mention must also go to well established bands “Six Star Hotel” and ” Phoenix R” who gave of their time so freely and “Special”, a Lower Sixth band comprising some 15 pupils whose rendition of ” Head ,Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in various languages provided some light hearted entertainment.
Colm McCann from the Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission attended the event and was unreserved in his congratulations and praise , ” The Battle of the Bands was a great success and the turn out by students was a credit to the school’s sense of morale and camaraderie. It was also great to see that students had been assigned tasks in the production of the event. I commend Wallace’s support of and confidence in the eight competing bands.I believe that bringing an acceptance of pop music into the educational arena can help the artistic development of the students and can increase motivation an all areas of life.”
Organiser of the event, Music teacher Mr Jonny McGeown, was delighted by its success, “The purpose of Wallace’s Battle of the Bands was to afford our pupils the opportunity of developing their performance, stagecraft and musical skills as well as their personal strengths. In encouraging creativity and motivation through preparation for this event, we were also encouraging learning for life. I’d like to thank all our prize sponsors as well as Wallace’s Parent Teacher Association who very generously funded lighting and PA equipment for the evening, allowing ticket sales profit to go directly to the two charities.”
Wallace ‘s busy Music Department is now getting ready for its annual Spring Concert, to be held in the Schhol’s Assembly Hall on Monday 15 March.
Last modified: February 24, 2016