Staff and students are celebrating after receiving a fabulous windfall in the shape of numerous instruments to boost the musical opportunities at school. Thanks to the Army and the School’s Trustees, the Music department has been swelled with a fabulous range of instruments.

Following the closure of three British Schools for forces children in Germany, the musical and technical equipment was repatriated to Catterick. The Commanding Officer wanted the equipment to be donated to schools across North Yorkshire and Richmond School was fortunate to receive a great selection of instruments.  Two French horns, two euphoniums, three trombones, a drum kit, a tam-tam, a full set of music stands for the orchestra, as well as flight cases for drums and musical keyboards have enhanced the school’s musical offer.

A sousaphone and two tubas were purchased with the Trustees’ generous donation of £3,500.  After almost 90 years of service, the school tuba finally ceased working and local brass bands were relied on for lending students another instrument. With two sixth form students playing the tuba, the grant came at exactly the right time and makes the school self-sufficient.

Comments Elaine Walton, Chair of the Richmond School Trustees, said: “It is wonderful for the Trustees to be able to support music at Richmond School. These new instruments will give even more opportunities for students to develop their skills within the thriving and successful Music department.

The school’s jazz band has gone from strength to strength over recent years and the amount of outdoor concerts the school are asked to perform at has increased significantly.  Taking electrical equipment outside can be hazardous and having a sousaphone means the bass lines are now all safely covered with a traditional instrument which not only creates a wonderful sound but is visually a spectacle and focal point in its own right. Tubas and sousaphones are generally out of the budget of most hobby musicians so students will benefit greatly from the kindness of the Trustees.

Stephen Boyd, Lead Teacher for Music, said: “It is perfect timing for these amazing donations as the Music department continues to expand and renew equipment. It means we can now give students the opportunity to play brass instruments that are very expensive to buy. The music stands and flight cases are normally so expensive, and not always top of the priority list, but will ensure that when we go on trips and concert tours we will be able to safely look after our instruments.  We can look forward to encouraging and developing our students’ musical talents with instruments that not only look the part and play superbly, but will also last for  another 50 years in the Richmond School Music department.”

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “We cannot thank the Army and our Trustees enough. Their generous donations will make a huge difference to the learning opportunities for our students. It will also enable them to develop their creative skills and to enjoy the social element of playing in a musical group where life-long friendships are forged and the value of working as part of a team is so important.”