Fifteen pupils from Derby Grammar School travelled to Guernsey for five days of joint workshops and practice with fellow musicians from Guernsey Grammar School in May.

They were lucky enough to arrive on Liberation Day and the trip got off to a great start as they joined in the island’s celebrations with their host families, which included parades, live music and a fantastic fireworks display. As well as practice, the trip included a tour of the island, a trip to Herm and a visit to Castle Cornet. Throughout the week the pupils stayed with host families on the island.

The musical activities focused around band and choir practices. On the first day the joint band learned Forget You and Bad Romance whilst the choir worked on Never Enough and Asikatali.  Later in the trip they joined jazz rehearsals with the local music service, performing pieces such as Crocodile Rock and Brass Machine.

The final day was an intense with rehearsals. The musicians on the trip took part in the various brass bands, wind bands, choirs and orchestras before a final rehearsal for the joint Guernsey and Derby bands and choirs in the afternoon.

The evening concert was a wonderful success and very well attended.  The Derby Grammar School Senior Band, Senior Choir and Barbershop Choir played a selection of pieces, as did the Guernsey Grammar School Orchestra, Wind Band, Swing Band and Choir.

The Joint band finished off the concert with a powerful rendition of Pharrell Williams’ Happy, which perfectly reflected everyone’s mood as this year’s trip was came to a conclusion.

Mr Coley, Head of Music at Derby Grammar School, said: “Music trips like this provide greater bonding between the musicians, which always helps them to communicate better as an ensemble. They learnt their pieces impressively quickly, through hard work and concentration.

The trip also gives pupils from both schools the opportunity to hear each other’s music and work together to put on a successful concert.”

Mrs Bideau of Guernsey Grammar School added: “It was a very busy, but incredibly rewarding, few days. The trip has been running between the two schools for four years now and we hope it will continue to do so long into the future.”

Many thanks to the parents who hosted Derby pupils, and to all those who attended the concert.