Marriotts School Rocks at Rock Challenge 2015

Recently students from Marriotts School beat off fierce competition from 11 other schools from London, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northampton and Berkshire to win not only the open regional stage of the annual Rock challenge Event held at the Gordon Craig Theatre, but to win 13 of the 14 individuals awards available.

The theme of their performance was based on an ancient Chinese story depicted on the Willow pattern plate. It is the story of a Mandarin queen who ruled a Chinese Province. She used dark magic to control the seasons, the townspeople and her daughters. When one daughter defied her mother by falling in love, the queen stopped at nothing to keep her daughter under her control.

In total, 49 students were involved in every aspect of the performance including choreography, set design, make up and technical support. Year 12 BTEC Dance students Lilly Chalkley, Courtney Carr, Kayleigh Harradine, Erin Bowler, Rochelle Staddon and Emma Rose led the auditions, rehearsals, fund raising events and creative designs as part of their BTEC National course. This amazing collaboration saw the school take awards for:

Excellence for Soundtrack, Spirit of Rock Challenge, Visual Enhancement, Set design and function, Lighting, Choreography, Drama, Entertainment, Concept, Stage Crew, Performance Skill, Costuming Character.

Headteacher, Beth Honnor stated. “We are incredibly proud of this achievement particularly in light of the fierce competition and very high quality of performances. Our performing arts department and students are very talented and this is a very well deserved win.

Mrs Bond, joint head of Performing Arts, was particularly pleased that Marriotts’ students also won the ‘Spirit of Rock Challenge Award’, an award voted for by all competitors, which recognised the students who are most supportive of others. This echoes our ethos ‘Aim high, work hard, be kind’.”

Rock Challenge is a global competition, sponsored by the ‘Be Your Best’ foundation. The charity promotes ‘healthy living’ for teenagers, with no use of drugs, smoking or alcohol throughout the rehearsals and performances. It also advocates attendance to school by giving students who may have become disengaged the opportunity to work towards something they enjoy and want to be in school for.

The students will now take their performance to Portsmouth on Friday 19th June to take part in the National Southern Region Open Final.  If the school gain either 1st or 2nd place in this competition they would become a ‘Premier School’ and automatically qualify for the National Finals next year.