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Performer Interview: Bishop Stopford School Brass Band

A school brass band with an incredible history of supporting young musicians performs on the first night of the MFY Proms 2022.

Bishop Stopford School Brass Band

Bishop Stopford School in Kettering has a rich and diverse music department supporting students from KS3 through to A-Level Music qualifications, “Music is a subject at the cultural heart of our school, with as much activity taking place outside lessons as in.” The school offers a colourful offering of extra-curricular activities including choirs and ensembles as well as offering a variety of instrumental lessons through the Northamptonshire County Music Service.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Charlie who plays the euphonium and Aseye who plays tuba from the school brass band when they came to play at the Music for Youth Proms in the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 15th November 2022. As well as taking part in their school brass band, which gave them the opportunity to play at the Music for Youth National Festival in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in July 2022, they both play in Northampton County Brass Band, showing just one of the many external opportunities that music in school can lead to.

Bishop Stopford’s School Brass Band has a history spanning 40 years and a record of producing exceptional young players with students going on to play with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. The band also boasts alumni including James Fountain, Principle Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra. With scholarly research consistently showing that a music education positively impacts academic development, this is a benefit that Bishop Stopford School has reaped due to their commitment to music. Both students when asked how music supports their development nodded to transferable skills “it helps in subjects as well, it helps learn things like languages and maths as well.” The students also noted the chance to gain qualifications and support their social development “it helps keep my playing skills up for my A-Level music and also all the different groups bring together all the year groups and it’s a nice environment to be in.”

About the author

Erin Black

Erin began her musical studies at a young age, and is now studying classical piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she is supported by a generous Guildhall School Scholarship. Outside of musical activity, Erin is a enthusiastic academic. Erin’s research focuses on the relationship between music and law in Renaissance Florence. A keen writer, Erin is undertaking a diploma in Music Journalism at the London School of Journalism. 

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