Ashville pupils follow MADS week adventure

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Students from Harrogate’s Ashville College have enjoyed a taste of The Big Easy thanks to a lunchtime visit from a New Orleans parade-inspired band.

Mr Wilson’s Second Liners were the grand finale to a week-long celebration of music, art, drama and sport, which saw experts from each field visiting the school to deliver master classes in the subjects.

Before entertaining pupils and staff in the dining hall with their unique renditions of 90’s club classics, the ensemble – who looked like they had stepped off the cover of the Beatles album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - had led a two-hour workshop for music scholars.

Following on from their lunch-time session, they then carried on with their performance in and around the school’s grounds.

Ashville’s MADS week - which was oriented towards the upcoming Rio Olympics and ran under a carnival theme - gave scholars the opportunity to work as professionals.

Musical workshops included samba and a brass composition master class, Practitioners from Handmade Parade were on hand all week to work with art and drama students, as well as the Pre-Prep School, to create large scale parade puppets. Harrogate-based artist Anita Bowerman led a creative paper cut class.

Drama students also go to hone their skills in stage combat under the tutelage of actor and stuntman, Mark Ruddick.

With Brazil’s volleyball team being ranked number one in the world, the school brought in coaches David and Penny Speers to teach sport scholars the essentials of the game.

Harrogate Gymnastics Club also ran dedicated classes for senior school scholars and pupils.

Simon Brook, coordinator of the week, said: “This was a fantastic week that saw a host of professionals visiting the school to inspire our scholars in art, music, drama and sport.”

He added: “I would like to thank all those who helped make this week the superb success it was. It has helped enrich the lives of our scholars and will no doubt encourage them to follow their passions.

“Mr Wilson’s Second Liners were a superb closing act for our MADS week. They made a lasting impression with their colourful costumes and their renditions of 90’s club classics delivered in a New Orleans parade style.”