The concert was headlined by singer/songwriter and former student, Rebecca Poole, and featured over 30 highly talented current students from the College.
Titled, ‘To Remind Us’, the name of Rebecca Poole’s 2012 charity single in aid of Help for Heroes, students involved in the concert were invited to perform a song that had a special meaning to them. Their musical choices included striking original songs from students including Mo Evans and Phoebe Brown; a beautiful instrumental from Filipe Batista; and a mix of impressive covers from ‘Freddie and the Freeloaders’, and Emma Brown and Dan Theobald among others. Student Matt Maltese, who also sang with his band, performed an uplifting second-half duet with Rebecca Poole.
The evening featured Poole singing many of her own songs, including the rousing ‘What happened to Romance’ and the touching ‘Follow Your Heart’.
She has spent many weeks mentoring and working closely with the students and said of the experience: ‘Thank you to the Henley College team for helping create this wonderful opportunity for me to work and perform alongside the outstanding talent showcased fearlessly by your amazing music students.
I am also grateful for you allowing us the opportunity to raise money for the Help for Heroes charity. I know I speak for myself and my brilliant band members when I say it has been an incredible, rewarding and inspiring experience. One I shall never forget. I am certain I’ll be hearing about the successes of these exceptional musicians in the near future. I wish them all the best and thank them for their friendship, professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm. What a great start to 2013!’
Alongside Rebecca, students were supported by five very talented musicians – Stuart Henderson (trumpet), Hugh Turner (guitar), Andy Crowdy (double bass), Dan Western (drums) and Danny McCormack (keyboard). Henderson said: ‘It was a pleasure to work the students from Henley College, I was really impressed with their musicianship and attitude. They are a very talented group and its reassuring to know that there are schools and colleges such as Henley doing great work with wonderful young people.’
Towards the end of the show the audience were treated to a surprise appearance from Haircut One Hundred star Nick Heyward, who sang the appropriately titled ‘Fantastic Day’. He went on to praise the talent shown by the College’s students, to encourage them to pursue their ambitions and to call for such an event to becoming an annual feature.
College Principal, Tom Espley, concluded: ‘Music is going from strength to strength at the College thanks to a very talented team of teachers and ever increasing numbers of students.
We started the Extended Diploma in Music in September which attracted a large number of students who want to study music full time. I would like to thank Alison Golby, one of our music teachers, the students and Rebecca Poole for giving up so much of her time. The results were fantastically good.’