School band's virtual music

Wednesday 13th May 2020 3:12 am

John Wood

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The newly-created Ramsey Grammar School Pep Band has been hard at work during lockdown producing a ’virtual ensemble’ recording of ’Gonna Fly Now’ - the theme from Rocky.

The recording has been made in celebration of VE Day and is also dedicated to the island’s essential workers.

Using just their smartphones, the students recorded the parts at home and then sent them to band director John Wood, who edited them together.

Mr Wood, a brass teacher for the government’s musicservice, said: ’At times like these it’s important for us to stay connected. The project has been great way to engage students, continue their learning remotely and create something uplifting.

’I’m really proud of them for rising to the challenge and already, the video has had nearly a thousand views on Facebook.’

The RGS Pep Band, formed earlier this year by Mr Wood, is a project styled on the American bands that are most commonly found playing on the side-lines of American football matches and high school pep rallies, in which students gather before games.

It is the only of its kind on the Isle of Man.

Headteacher Annette Baker said: ’I am proud that Ramsey Grammar School is now home to this unique musical ensemble, whose inaugural performance pays tribute to heroes, past and present.’

RGS head of music Rosie Will-Jones said: ’I’m so thrilled that our students have remained committed to this ensemble, and with Mr Wood’s guidance have found ways to continue to perform together despite the current situation.

’It’s a testament to their resilience, enthusiasm and determination. Music remains alive and thriving in the north.’

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