You can find them at clubs, concert halls or festivals near you whether you are in New York, Austin Texas, Mexico, London, Edinburgh or Glasgow – a fantastic bunch of young people making music for a living and for fun. They are at T in the Park and on the Island of Eigg; live on Jools Holland and recorded on Vic Galloway. They have even been found in an old container on a car park during the Edinburgh Fringe.
At least part of the credit for all this creativity must go to a local state school where music has inspired generations of students. Not all of them were specialist students in the Edinburgh School of Music but the music unit (directed by Tudor Morris) has been infecting Broughton High School with a special kind of enthusiasm for years – with more than a little help from talented kids and their dedicated teachers.
You might be forgiven for thinking that the only people to make anything of their lives after attending Broughton High School were Hugh McDiarmid, Tommy Smith, Shirley Manson and Martyn Bennett. It really is time to put the record straight. Specially since BHS (the school not the store) currently does not have a live website and their outdated Facebook and Wikipedia pages still trot out the same four names. ( Sadly Martyn Bennett died in 2005).
I am not attempting to bring the story right up to date. I am sure there are many other proud parents who can tell similar success stories and not just in music (BHS produces talented dancers, drama students, writers, town planners and social workers). But music has a special power to bring out the individual best in students in the collective experience of a band or orchestra.
And of course I am biased – some of them are my sons ( that’s Tommy drawn by Kev Sim above), but I am proud to know them all. So here’s my very own festival of music (jazz, rock, hip hop, folk, classical and very avante garde music) starring Andy Bain, Adam Brown, Sam Evans, Bobby, Dougal and Tommy Perman, Ruth Ross, Emma Smith, Morgan Szymanski and Chris Wheeler – with a cycle-on part by Abi Wingate.
To avoid making this a very long blog I will now post more about them on a proper roll of honour (click here for the rest of the story…it’s still a work in progress as there’s a lot of uploading to do).
With special thanks to Dave Simpson who started the jazz band and Andy Barker, master of the wind band. (and thanks to Tommy and Bobby for the art work).