Rock Project students perform at Courtyard Theatre

Students from the Rock Project at the end of year concert. INNT 29-800CON
Students from the Rock Project at the end of year concert. INNT 29-800CON

A group of young musicians from across Northern Ireland played in front of a packed auditorium at the Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl recently.

The members of The Rock Project Northern Ireland, which has music schools in Ballyclare, Merville and Holywood, performed their end of year concert at the Newtownabbey venue.

More than 150 people filled the auditorium to watch performances by bands, trios and soloists aged 7-18 years.

Bill Andrew from Templepatrick, who runs the schools said: “The concert was absolutely brilliant and showed how far these young people have developed as musicians.

“The tutors and students have been practising tirelessly for the concert and it really paid off. Less than a year ago, many of them would never have even played an instrument let alone imagined standing on stage and performing to a crowd. We were all totally blown away by the performances.”

Members of both the junior and senior sessions formed groups to perform 17 numbers ranging from the likes of the Rolling Stones and Queen to Elle King and Jason Mraz.

Jenna Gilmour’s 13-year-old daughter Mya was one of those who took to the stage.

Having joined The Rock Project in September, Jenna has been amazed at her daughter’s growing confidence.

She said: “Mya has always loved music and I was absolutely astounded when she walked into The Rock Project and started to play. It’s done so much for her self-esteem and circle of friends. They’re always in touch with one another on social media and she’s made a lot of new friends through their combined love of music.”

The Rock Project Northern Ireland offers young people tuition in drums, bass, guitar and vocals from professional working musicians, the experience of playing in a band every week, and the opportunity to perform on stage at an end of year concert. The Project will run summer schools for two weeks in August, before starting the new term in September.

For full details contact Bill Andrew on 07730 700006 or email ni@therockproject.com