8. Rockfest BOTB 2019

Battle of the Bands (Rockfest) Project

This “Curriculum for Excellence” project provided a valuable opportunity for our young rock and pop musicians in secondary schools to develop their performance, and compositional skills as well as developing their marketing skills through the medium of rock/pop music.

In the initial stage of the project invitations were given to all 23 secondary schools to encourage rock and pop musicians to form a band in their school with a view to reaching the standard required to perform at the Rockfest Battle of the Bands.

14 schools opted to audition for the second phase of the project – a performance in Motherwell concert hall as part of our Battle of the Bands final.  In the lead up to these auditions support was provided by classroom and instrumental music staff in assisting the young people with the compositional and performance aspects in preparation for an in-house play through of their pieces in front of 2 professional musicians.

From these auditions all 14 bands were deemed good enough to go through to the live performance in Motherwell Concert Hall, with 76 pupils in all involved in the live performances.

In addition to the compositional and performance aspect, pupils were encouraged to market and promote the event in their own schools and communities through posters, social media and word of mouth.

Each school was responsible for the promotion and marketing of their particular seating allocation and the fourteen finalists had the opportunity to perform in Motherwell Concert Hall to hugely enthusiastic and vocal supporters.    The young people enjoyed the experience of performance using a high quality PA system crewed and operated by professional sound engineers.

A stage crew of professional musicians including a guitar, drum and keyboard tech, were on hand to provide performance support to the young people taking part on the night.  A panel of 4 industry professionals was appointed to adjudicate the event with a remit to select the top 3 bands as well as the best performer on the night.

The compositional element was a key feature of this project and set it apart from a standard rock concert.  The project not only developed the creative skills of the young people but also provided the opportunity for cross-curricular working.

It’s a good opportunity to work together with others when you wouldn’t get the chance otherwise. It’s been very enjoyable as well as stressful but I’ve definitely learned more about working with others and organising for a large scale performance.

Theo Black – St Margaret’s High School 

I loved competing in BOTB and seeing the other bands give us new ideas for songs.

– Genni Parker – St Andrew’s High. 

It was the best experience I have had in music performance. Martha McGuire – St Aidan’s HS