MUSICAL pupils from across East Renfrewshire returned from a national competition recently with the highest award possible.
The East Ren schools senior concert band, comprised of 48 pupils from all seven high schools in the authority, qualified to compete in the National Concert Band finals for the first time this year.
The group performed at the Royal Academy of Music in London during the Easter break, and came away with gold – marking them a cut above the rest as they were the only band to achieve the top award.
James Finnegan, instrumental music co-ordinator for East Renfrewshire council’s music service, told The Extra: “We’d competed before, but this was the first time we’d gotten through to the finals.
“The band were awarded a gold in their class – the highest of the day – which was a really big achievement for them.
“The band did well and we’re very proud – in fact, there’s going to be a presentation for them in front of the council’s education committee on June 14, to mark their achievement”.
The youngsters, conducted by Kevin Price, attend weekly after-school rehearsals at Carlibar primary..
One happy mum, Marion Macdonald, was in touch with The Extra this week to pass on the good news, and added: “I think it would be great to let all your readers know how proud we are of them”.
And while high schools across East Ren are pleased with the result from London, a nursery school in Thornliebank is also celebrating after unveiling its first green flag.
Thornlaw nursery school qualified for the Eco-Schools award, which encourages pupils of all ages to engage in environmental and sustainable issues, including cleaning up litter, reducing energy and water usage and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Staff and pupils raised the flag for all to see recently, thanks to a donation from the Charles Church Maxwell Gait development in nearby Newton Mearns.
Head teacher Alison Edwards commented: “The children take their eco work very seriously and have great fun doing it.
“We are fortunate enough to have received wonderful support, and are grateful to Charles Church for donating the flagpole so that we can proudly display our green flag status”.