Saturday, 20 October 2018

Headteacher headlines Valley Rock Festival

A MINI music festival was held on Saturday to raise money for a new music room at a Henley school.

More than 200 guests attended the Valley Rock Festival at Shiplake Memorial Hall, which raised £3,000 for Valley Road Primary School.

As well as the music, there was a hog roast, cocktail bar and barbecue.

Six bands performed on two stages. On the main stage, there was Tom’s Band, featuring Gillotts School student Tom Priestley, followed by Who Is Smith? and Free Beer.

Pupils created a makeshift mosh pit to dance to the music.

Paul Gudge, who plays keyboards with Who Is Smith?, said: “It was great. There was a brilliant mix of kids and adults who were all there to support the school.”

Free Beer singer Richard Clark: “We have been gigging around Henley for 27 years after we met at The Henley College. Some of us actually went to Valley Road and others have kids there so we are all keen to help. It’s a brilliant school.”

On the acoustic stage, the first band was The Red Shoes, featuring Valley Road headteacher Tim Coulson on guitar, singer Heather James and Leigh Williams on double bass. They were followed by Centaurs of Attention and Callum.

Mr Coulson said: “This is actually our very first gig together. Heather and I started playing together some time ago and Leigh later approached us to join. We like to play anything you can dance to and some things you can’t! It was great fun playing and it was lovely to see the children dancing.”

Valley Road pupil Sidni Brener, 11, was in charge of lighting for the evening.

Organiser Wendy Schrier, who is a school governor, said: “It was lovely to see everybody enjoying themselves.

“The bands were all brilliant. It was the first time many of them had done something like this but they had all practised really hard and chose a great selection of music.

“We were really pleased with the whole event and glad everyone enjoyed it. We’ve already been asked to do another one next year.”

The new music building will be built on the side of the school and will be available for community use. The school needs to raise £50,000 and hopes construction will take place next summer.

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