Gold stars all round

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MUSICAL pupils are winding down the school year in celebration after being honoured at East Renfrewshire council’s education committee last week.

The schools senior concert band, made up of 48 pupils from every high school across the authority, featured in The Extra recently after achieving a gold award at the National Concert Band final, held in London.

The award — the highest in the competition — was the only gold given out on the day, and the East Ren team were even more elated about their moment in the spotlight as it was their first time entering.

The London win followed another gold award in March, from the Scottish Concert Band Festival — marking the East Ren youngsters as a group to watch.

Representatives of the band were welcomed to the first meeting of the ERC education committee by new education convenor, councillor Elaine Green, who congratulated them on the achievement.

She commented: “These young people thoroughly deserve our praise.

“To go to a performance in London and win a national gold award is an amazing achievement in their first national final.

“Their success is recognition of hard work and dedication and I was delighted to lead the applause of the education committee for their outstanding achievements”.

The band was conducted by Kevin Price, who has acted as musical director for over 10 years, and co-ordinated by James Finnegan.

James, of the council’s music service, told The Extra: “We’re delighted for the children to have their achievement recognised by the committee.

“It was a proud moment for us this year, when pupils accepted the award on behalf of the rest of the band, and we’re looking forward to next year already”.

Recognition from the council is particularly important for 13 of the fifth and sixth year pupils who are moving on to pastures new this year – but with many of them members of the national youth orchestras, the East Ren band’s win could be a stepping stone to greater things.