Norfolk music academy celebrates anniversary with concert

The staff band at the JDT Music Academy in Dereham. L-R, Becky Haynes, Phil Starling, Nia Howe (Tigg

The staff band at the JDT Music Academy in Dereham. L-R, Becky Haynes, Phil Starling, Nia Howe (Tiggy), Aaron Houseago, Janel Spalding and Jon Curtis. Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios - Credit: Archant

A music academy in mid Norfolk celebrated its 18th anniversary with a concert showcasing an eclectic and varied mix of music,

Janel Spalding. Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios

Janel Spalding. Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios - Credit: Archant

About 175 people attended 'An Audience With JDT Music Academy' at St Peter and St Paul's Church in Swaffham, which raised about £1000 for its Big Build Fund.

It was so successful that another concert will be held.

The evening started with a couple of rock tracks from the staff band, made up of Janel Spalding, Phil Starling, Nia Howe, AKA Tiggy, Jon Curtis, Aaron Houseago and Becky Haynes.

This was followed by a percussion set from former student and Guildhall School of Music and Drama graduate, Nathan Gregory.

Toby Ellis. Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios

Toby Ellis. Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios - Credit: Archant


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Former vocal student and Leeds College of Music graduate, Holly Allton, also took to the stage under her stage pseudonym, Erin McKnight, performing two original tracks 'Blind' and 'Glass Bridge'.

The first half also included performances from the academy's Junior Community Choir, MinivoX, original pieces 'Bereft' and 'Closer' from tutors Jon and Phil, respectively.

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Meanwhile, a haunting rendition of Eva Cassidy's Fields Of Gold featured the school's rock choir RockavoX and a mother-daughter duet of 'Can't Smile Without You' featured the studio's office administrator Helen Howe and Tiggy.

The second half kicked off with a showreel of some of former drum student and University of Hertfordshire graduate, Toby Ellis' animation, film and gaming compositions.

Erin McKnight (AKA Holly Allton). Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios

Erin McKnight (AKA Holly Allton). Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios - Credit: Archant

Former studio manager and bandmate Lara Leuw-Gardner was also welcomed back for a jam of dance tracks.

The rest of the second half was rocked by the staff band, and featured a performance by RockavoX of one of its signature mash-ups, 'My Kind of Hazard'.

Student Helen Wilcock said: "Well, what an evening. The talent of JDT shone through and the amazing staff blew the roof off with their multi-talents, showing they could swap between singing and instruments.

"I am so proud to have been a part of the evening with the amazing RockavoX and look forward to many more fun rehearsals, concerts and adventures with JDT supporting them with their venture of a purpose-built studio for all."

Helen Howe & Tiggy (Nia Howe). Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios

Helen Howe & Tiggy (Nia Howe). Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios - Credit: Archant

The academy is holding a studio open day at its home in Rashes Green industrial estate in Dereham on Saturday, June 22, from 10am to 2pm.

Nathan Gregory on vibraphone. Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios

Nathan Gregory on vibraphone. Pictures: Nik Hill at Acorn Studios - Credit: Archant

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