John Moore, director of music at Shrewsbury School, said that the band, which has 16 members, gave an outstanding performance in the preliminary rounds.
He commented: “Our musicians earned a gold award in the regional stages but we had to wait until all those rounds were complete before knowing whether or not we had got through. We were delighted to be told recently that our efforts had been rewarded.”
The band members of the award winning Abraham Darby Academy will be under the direction of student Ryan Richards. The Academy Senior Jazz Band also returns to the Finals having been present for a number of years. Ryan will also feature in the Senior Jazz Band performance being the Band’s principal trombonist.
The Senior Jazz Band have achieved unprecedented successes at the National Festival in previous years. For the Junior Jazz Band the National Festival shows the progress that the Junior band members have made as this will be the first time that the Junior Jazz Band has appeared in a National Festival. The Senior Jazz Band programme will include the Sammy Nestico composition Lisette, which will feature Harriet Blakeman as soloist.
Rachel Morton, the Academy’s Head of Music said “that she and all the band members were pleased to be participating in Birmingham and were looking forward to the event at the National Festival as the hosts have always made us feel most welcome. The Academy bands have enjoyed the unprecedented success in this prestigious National Festival as a result of long hours of dedication and hard work over many years. I am also pleased that the Junior Jazz Band will also be competing this year, which provides evidence of the continuing standard of the Academy junior musicians”.