Russell School has a reputation for turning out keen musicians but a home-grown pop band is a first.
Twelve youngsters, who left the school last term, enjoyed so many musical opportunities at Russell froman orchestra and brass band to choirs and instrumental ensembles, but it was the pop band that captured their creativity and continues to bring them all together to play music of their own era.
It all started at the school Easter concert when the children got together , dubbed themselves Dozen Don’t,and staged their first live performance in Russell’s hall singing Rolling in the Deep by Adele and We are Family.
Their standard and enthusiasm impressed parent and music composer Glenn Keiles so much that he invited them to his home studio over the summer holidays to record an EP.
“Every evening for a week in August the children worked with Glenn” says Christine Deeley, parent and Music Enrichment Teacher, “They learned about how it all works with layers of instruments being individually recorded at different times and then put together. It was hard work but an incredible experience and the end result sounds absolutely amazing. They also created the CD sleeve booklet and printed the actual CD label themselves.”
Dozen Don’thas the Russell to thank for starting them off on their musical journey.
“I’m not sure the children realised how lucky they were at the Russell,” adds Christine, “The infrastructure allows timetabling for musical ensembles around sporting and other extra-curricular activities. There’s also a music specialist doing class lessons from Nursery to Year 6 and on top of this there have been ‘Try out an instrument’ weekend/holiday workshops. All children are encouraged to get involved in music. This is very rare in a primary school and encourages a love of music and stands them in good stead for making music at secondary level as Dozen Don’t have proved.”
Glenn, whose credits include composing music for over 500 TV documentary and dramas including the imminent Season 3 of PBS’ Shakespeare Uncoveredseries, as well as Pop music production, enjoyed the sessions as much as the band.
“ I believe every child has some musical ability in them and it is up to musical professionals to help hone their skills and encourage them to have fun in the process.” adds Glenn. “It was a pleasure helping Dozen Don’t record their first CD and I am looking forward to more sessions with the band as well as working with the next emerging pop group at Russell ! ”
Charlie and George: Guitar –
India, Masie: Keys
Liam, Elizabeth, Hollie: Drums/Percussion
Thomas: Bass Guitar
Ruby, Evie, Eloise: Vocals
What the kids say ,..
“The band Club is a bit different and really fun. I can play my piano while listening to everyone else and it sounds really cool. – Maisie
“It’s interesting to hear all the instruments on top of each other once they have played individually’” – Maisie
I have never been in a pop band before, and I have really enjoyed hearing everyone playing instruments together. It has been a great experience.’ – Elizabeth
“It’s amazing to be in a pop band and to hear all the different instruments layer over each other.”– Eloise
“I love being in a pop band. Going from deciding the songs, practising, getting all of us to come together in a band, to then performing has been sooooo much fun. We have all played really well together! “– Evie
“I have loved being in our school’s pop band – it is a great opportunity for young musicians to come together and have fun and make music.” – Ruby