Family & Education

JFS celebrates its 'best ever' Battle Of The Bands contest

Year 9 act JRJ are crowned winners of the JFS music contest with judges praising high standard of all 13 finalists


JFS has hosted its' best ever Battle of The Bands contest', with 13 musical acts made up of pupils of all ages competing to be crowned 2017 champions.

Three judges,  Ivor Goldberg, Dana Kerstein and Matt Smith -  with years of experience of working in the music industry -  where given the task of picking their top three bands after listening to all this year's  finalists perform live in the school’s theatre.

This year’s event was notable for the huge variety of musical styles represented -  from trap rap to indie rock, pop and progressive rock – and also for the fact that five of the acts chose to perform original material.

After much deliberation the judges selected the Year 9 band JRJ as overall winners, praising the trio’s “superb” original track Understand Me along with their stage presence.

The band – Joe Taylor on vocals and guitar, Ruby Harpin on drums and Josh Gringrass on vocals and bass – have been together for one year having made their debut live performance at Josh’s bar mitzvah.

As winners of the biannual contest, which was first hosted by the school 15 years ago, JRJ will now be offered the chance to have their song recorded professionally at Roundhouse recording studios in north London.

Commending all 13 acts, the judges awarded second place to Bandy McBand Face, who performed a cover of the Cameo classic Word Up and  third place to Perspective, a Year 7 duo, for their catchy original song Make You Feel Happy.

Music has traditionally proved a strong area of both study and extra-curriculum activity at the Kenton school, with a large number of students going on to study music at a range of institutions including LIPA, Nottingham University, City University, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. 

Former students who have gone on to achieve pop success include Daniel Rothman of the critically acclaimed act London Grammar, who have just released their second studio album, Daniella Kaye who performs under the name Dee DeeKay and has just released her first professional album and Joelle Amery who has also recently released a single working closely with Diane Warren.

David Joseph, chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK, is also a former JFS pupil.

Simon Appleman, JFS Headteacher, said: “We are very proud of the musical achievements of our students under the leadership of Mrs Bellinger, subject leader for music. 

“The variety of styles evident at this year’s battle reflects a diverse range of musical influences and the excellent performance skills of our students.   It was particularly pleasing to have a number of original pieces in this year’s final.”

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