Record-breaking music academy celebrates 20 year anniversary
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A music academy which has taught over 1,500 students and even set a world record in the process is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
JDT Music Academy, based on the Rashes Green Industrial Estate in Dereham opened in 2001 and, despite the challenge of moving classes online during the pandemic, the academy still going strong 20 years on.
In 2016, the academy smashed the Guinness World Record for longest drumming marathon by a team, with a time of 80 hours and two minutes, dwarfing the previous 66-hour record.
When it's not breaking records, the music school teaches students a wide variety of instruments and courses, with pupils going on to study at renowned colleges including the Royal Academy of Music in Brighton, Leeds Conservatoire and the Academy of Contemporary Music in London.
Speaking of the anniversary, co-directors Janel Spalding and Nia Howe said they were "forever grateful" for their staff, customers and students during challenging times, adding they were looking forward to the coming years at the academy.
Co-director, Janel Spalding said: "We have been lucky to work with so many wonderful people within our community and beyond and have made lots of lifelong friends in the process.
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"Our ethos has always evolved around making music accessible, to encourage and inspire and to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment and we're super proud that we've managed to achieve that.
"We are always learning, both as individuals and as a team and company, and we continually embrace the challenges that running a business throws at us.
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"It's not always an easy task, but watching our wonderful staff and students bring the studio to life makes the whole process worth it.
"Some of our most memorable highlights have included taking students on tour, performing in London, Paris, Barcelona and New York, not to mention our many fancy-dress parties and fabulous student showcases.
"Here's to many more years to come."
Celebrations are on hold at the academy until all lockdown restrictions are removed, however the school has already been planning for the physical return, with plans afoot to introduce a new performance art group for adults called 'Shooting Stars'.