It is with regret that the Beauty and the Beast rehearsal scheduled for this Sunday 4th March has been cancelled due to the severity of the weather.

Children can practice at home by clicking on the link below. There are practise tracks and a copy of the script. If this does not work, students can practise singing their parts along to YouTube videos. Please thank your child for all their hard work so far – there are a lot of lines to learn and they have all done very well!

Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Kind Regards
Mrs R Glanville
Head of Music Development

Musical instruments can often sit in lofts for years without being played, gathering dust. If you have an instrument at home that you don’t use; or perhaps your child has given up lear
ning, we would be grateful if you would please consider donating it to the music department so that we can find it a new loving home.
We are especially looking for woodwind instruments, such as flutes or clarinets, but absolutely anything would be greatly appreciated and well loved (rom guitars to cellos, drums to bassoons!).
Music stands, spare strings, jack leads, plectrums, valve oil, reeds etc always come in handy too if anyone has any that they no longer require or just don’t know what to do with.

Wansbeck Music Festival Success

Nearly 300 students from across the academy performed at this year’s Wansbeck Music Festival competing in a wide range of categories and with much success.
We were placed in 33 categories and brought home 25 trophies!
It was lovely to see so many parents coming to support our students and our performers enjoyed hearing the musical performances from other schools in our region.
There were a number of highlights from the festival, some of the most notable performances include:
  • The new secondary ‘Boys Rock Singing Group’
  • Josephine Butler Primary Whole Class Mandolins who were praised for both their music and their good sitting – silently with 30 mandolins for an hour!
  • The Centre Choir who loved having the opportunity to perform.
  • Grace Darling’s new Rockestra & Rock Choir who performed ‘Up Town Funk’ exceptionally well in their first public performance.


Steel Pan under 16 Solo Rebecca Linden 2nd
Guitar under 13 solo Lucy Birmingham 1st St Bennet Biscop Cup
Woodwind Duet under 13 years Emily Watson & Matthew Lloyd 1st Anniversary Cup & Eileen Montgomary
Under 11 Guitar Ensemble James Knott Guitar Group 1st John Charlton
Under 13 Guitar Duet Isabella Davidson & Anna Robison1st 1st Ord Salver
Under 13 woodwind ensemble NCEA Clarinet Group 1st St Cecila Cup
Under 16 guitar duet Robbie Anderson & Rachel Younger 1st Mitford Cup
Under 16 woodwind duet Leah Teagle & Emily Davidson 1st Mrs Davidson Cup
Under 16 woodwind ensemble NCEA Flute Choir 1st Brymer Trophey
Guitar Ensemble under 16 NCEA Guitar Ensemble 1st Leman Sheild A
Drum Solo under 16 Lewis Pearce 2nd
Percussion Group under 16 NCEA Drumming Group 1st Guliani trophy
Ukulele Band Joint 1st – NCEA Josephine Butler Ukulele Band & Central Primary School Joint 1st Agnes Temple Cup
Choir under 16 NCEA Choir 1st Lt Col Orde Challenge Cup
Choir under 16 (hymn) NCEA Choir 1st Font Cup
Duet under 16 Lucy Birmingham & Anna Robison, Molly Mcinnes & Carley Young Joint 1st Greystoke cups
School Choirs NCEA Choir 2nd
School Choirs Boys Rock Choir 3rd
Recorder Band Thomas Bewick Recorder Group 1st Brittan Scott Cup
Recorder Ensemble James Knott Recorder Group 1st Janet Scott Trophy
Recorder Ensemble James Knott Recorder Group 1st Bill Bulman Cup
Recorder Band Combines GD & JB Recorder Groups 1st Isabel Fullarton James Cup
Rock Band under 11 Grace Darling Rockestra & Rock Choir 1st The Swinny Cup
Under 16 composition Lynsey Garrett 1st Grasmere Trophy
Under 16 composition Emily Davidson 2nd
Beginners Brass Thomas Bewick Trombones 1st Les Carew Cup
Rock Pop Band NCEA Y10 Pop Band 1st
Whole Class Orchestra Josephine Butler Mandolins 1st Crewsal Cup
Whole Class Orchestra James Knott Cornets 2nd
School Orchestra NCEA Cadet Band 1st Peggy Punton Trophy
Under 16 Vocal Solo Sam Young 1st Michael Bell Memorial Cup
Under 16 Vocal Solo Lynsey Garrett 2nd
Brass Solo under 13 Nathan Golightly 2nd
Performance Opportunity The Centre Choir


Rave Reviews for Joseph


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“As good as when I saw it with Phillip Schofield!”

The Academy’s first combined primary and secondary musical production was a sell-out success.

Over 100 students and staff sang and played their hearts out to bring the much-loved West End musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to the stage.

Mr Thompson, Director of Music and Performing Arts, said: “This is our first school musical production and it has been a fantastic experience.

“We would like to thank all the students, staff and parents for their hard work.

“As well as the brilliant performances from the cast, choirs and orchestra, there is also a lot that goes on behind the scenes, such as with set and costumes.

“We hope that everyone had a great time on the night.”

Among the staff starring alongside students was Academy singing teacher, Mr Bayley, who appeared in the first Pop Idol series with Will Young. As well as performing across the region with the Aaron Bayley Band, he works with schools to inspire young singers and made a special appearance as “Pharaoh.”



“It brought students from all years together.”

“It was really fun playing bass in the band, which also gave me more confidence in performing.”

“Joseph helped me gain confidence in myself and I made so many amazing friends. I didn’t want it to end, it was an amazing experience.”

Chair of Governors, Mrs Snelling added: “In the words of the children, “it was awesome!”

“The narrators excelled at pulling together the storyline and all the cast looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.  The soloists were well chosen and sang with confidence and enthusiasm.

“I would like to congratulate all concerned, front and backstage, for an outstanding evening of family entertainment.  You have set the bench high as a measure for future productions.  I am looking forward to next year’s production – for which I already have my tickets!”


Aaron Bayley and Beth Macari with students at the Northumberland Church of England Academy

Pop Idol Star and Soul Singer are a Hit with Students

Millions of fans voted for him when he hit the screens in the first ever Pop Idol series alongside Will Young – now Aaron Bayley is helping to inspire pupils to discover their inner rock star.

He joins the music department alongside soul singer-songwriter Beth Macari. The rising star of the North East music scene has recently appeared as a vocal coach for Sky 1’s ‘Bring The Noise’ and has toured with Jane McDonald from TV’s Loose Women.

The duo will be providing support while choir leader and award-winning singer-songwriter, Mrs Corcoron, takes maternity leave.

Mr Bayley, who performs with his own band, will be teaching voice lessons and has already launched a new ‘Boys Rock’ singing group. Miss Macari will be running the existing choir.

Head of Music, Miss Glanville, said: “Both teachers have wowed students in performances at Josephine Butler Secondary Campus, encouraging students to sing and join new groups.

“As well as being a lot of fun, singing and performing are also great ways to improve confidence and it is wonderful to see students coming out of their shells and enjoying music.”

Why sing?

  • Ofsted say that children’s involvement in music engages and re-engages pupils, increasing their self-esteem, and maximising their progress in education and not just in music.
  • Research has shown a direct link between music and improved reading ability in children.


New Extra Curricular Groups

Music is expanding across the Academy with more opportunities for our students than ever before. This year we have set up a number of new ensembles in secondary including Brass Group, String Group, Keyboard Club and the Boys Rock Singing Group.

The latest ensemble is the Cadet Band, which has made huge strides since it started back in September, with students performing the national anthem on Remembrance Day in the Atrium as their first ever performance.