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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Benny’s bands rock Hastings

Students from St Benedict’s School in Ealing hit the right notes when they competed in the annual RockFest competition in Hastings, part of the Hastings Musical Festival – winning one section and coming home with a host of other prizes.

The school entered two bands: The Others, a Year 10 five-piece band which has been together for the last two years, and the Jazz Monkeys, a four-piece jazz band specialising in covers of jazz classics.

The Others proved run-away winners on the night, with their three original compositions, Skinhead, Cheerio and Riff Machine all praised by the judges. The band’s Tom Mythen was announced as the winner for the best Rhythm Guitarist while vocallist Ollie Walsh was named the best Front Man.

The band was further rewarded with the prize for the best original composition for Cheerio as well as being declared overall winners.

The judges had plenty of praise too for the Jazz Monkeys, particulary their great stage presence enhanced by their sharp Mod jackets, smooth style and tight ensemble playing. Sam Lubkowski was praised for his vocal technique in the Bowie classic Life on Mars and Finn Hobson won the best bassist award for his fluent and lyrical improvisations.

“Hastings Musical Festival offers senior school students an excellent opportunity to perform in a much larger venue, the White Rock Theatre, and gain feedback from professional judges.

“The performance of the St Benedict’s musicians was outstanding and I would like to congratulate all the boys for their hard work,” said Monica Esslin-Peard from the school’s music department. “We’ll be back in 2017 with more bands”.

Picture: The Others went away with the festival’s top award for best overall act.