Band is swinging its way to success

Swinging Saints
Swinging Saints

BAND members from a Barnham school have reached a national final at their first attempt.

The swing music specialists in Swingin’ Saints from St Philip Howard Catholic High School have been selected from thousands of applicants to perform in the Music for Youth festival.

The celebration of young music-making will take place at Birmingham on July 6.

Double bass player James Branchflower, a Year 11 student, said: “As this was the first time we had entered the festival, we had no idea of what to expect.

“We were amazed by the variety of ensembles, including choirs, steel 
bands, brass ensembles and many more.”

The band is led by sixth-form students Alice McIlwraith, Harry Henshaw and Tegwen Elliott, accompanied by pianist Lucy Thraves who is looking forward to studying music at Christchurch College in Oxford this September.

Their winning performance in the regional final at Southampton consisted of I Got Rhythm followed by I Got You Under My Skin with an a cappella rendition from the male members of the 19-piece band as an introduction.

Rita Goodman, the school’s head of performing arts and music, complimented the band on the performance which enabled it to beat the tough competition.

Music for Youth has some 50,000 musicians, to be the world’s largest of its kind.