‘Battle of the Bands’ takes Harlow by storm

BMAT Battle of the Bands (1)

STUDENTS from schools across the county took to the stage to battle it out in an inter-school music competition held on November 16. Eight bands from Burnt Mill Academy and Mark Hall Academy in Harlow, Epping St Johns School, in Epping, and Forest Hall School, in Stansted performed, while being praised by industry experts for their remarkable talent.

Despite the closure of Venue in The Square, the contest continued this year at Club Foot, a new community venue based in Burnt Mill, inspired by notable band Kasabian’s song, as a result of their visit to Burnt Mill Academy.

Charly Richardson, from Essex Music Services, said: ‘Nights like this are important for so many reasons; to celebrate the efforts and talents of young musicians, to create a sense of community and, most importantly, to inspire young people, parents and carers about the importance of music!’

The overall winning band of the evening was Monocroma, made up of year 9 to 11 students from Burnt Mill, Izzy Baker, Amber Butcher, Katy Thomas, Ari Sanozidis, Libby Slow and Isaac Cook. Their prize is a full day at Cosmic Audio Recording Studio in Epping. Mark Ashfield, of Cosmic Audio, was one of the judges of the competition. He said: ‘I was honoured to be asked to join the judging panel. It was a joy to see so much talent from such young musicians and such excitement on their faces to be performing and achieving recognition for their good work.’

The overall winners appear to have taken a step back from rock and instead, performed beautiful harmonies which was a ‘great contrast against the punk, indie rock and rap’ said Joint Organiser Joe Beckwith, who also stated; ‘The competition this year was among the best we have seen. It was a really hot competition and the atmosphere was electric.’

Essex Music Education Hub provided funding for Burnt Mill to buy the equipment from The Square to enable the competition – and other events – to continue.

Overall, the event was a remarkable success, with joint organiser Adam Smith, former promoter at The Square stating: ‘We hope to grow the show in the future, with more schools involved and rounds of heats ahead of the grand final.’


Best Band: Monochroma (Burnt Mill) – Libby Slow, Izzy Baker, Katy Thomas, Amber Butcher, Isaac Cook, Ari Sanozidis

Best Vocalist: Tiago Loughran-Morais (Mark Hall), Owen Stringer (Burnt Mill)

Best Guitarist: Bryony Roberts (Mark Hall), Kristian Pomfrett (Epping St Johns)

Best Pianist: Rosie Bennett (Burnt Mill)

Best Bassist: Grace O’Donoghue (Epping St Johns)

Best Drummer: Alfie Gorman (Burnt Mill)

Best Image: Wreckless (Mark Hall) – Ellie-May Mash, madalen Baynes, Brooke Collins, Max Jones, Iris Harris, Rebecca Mepsted, Gregor Collie

Best Entertainers: Aaron Eckley, Kristian Pomfrett, Grace O’Donoghue, Sam Wilson-Daines (Epping St Johns)

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Grace Perry

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