Harrodian Battle of the Bands, an annual songwriting competition organised by the Music Department, never fails to be one of the highlights of the School calendar. This year’s eagerly awaited competition attracted auditions from over 25 solo artists and groups ranging from the 8s to the Upper Sixth. Ten acts were then selected to perform in the final.
To judge the participants’ performances, we welcomed four high profile experts from the music world: John Giddings (Harrodian parent and Isle of Wight Festival organiser, music agent and founder of Solo agency); James Walsh (singer, songwriter, frontman of Starsailor); Ronan Keating (singer, songwriter, frontman of Boyzone); and his wife Storm (producer of Australian X-Factor, So You Think You Can Dance, The Voice).
Maria José Hayaux Du Tilly (15W), below, who played guitar and sang her song ‘Bittersweet’, wowed the judges and was consequently awarded the winner of the soloist category, left. The winner of the band category this year was Timeless (Poppy Harrison, Santa-Elise Cohu Davies, Florence Durand-Deslongrais - all from 12C, below) with their song ‘Far Away’. With Santa on lead vocals, Poppy playing drums and Flo on keyboard, all three girls sang beautifully in harmony. John Giddings, James Walsh, and Ronan and Storm Keating awarded the winners with the coveted Silver Guitar Trophy. As part of the prize, and courtesy of Mr and Mrs Giddings, the girls will also play alongside Queen and The Who at the prestigious Isle of Wight Festival this summer. The judging panel described the event as one of the ‘best’ they had been to recently, and were also very complimentary about the high standard of songwriting, describing some of the songs written by pupils as ‘ready-made hits’! A collection throughout the evening successfully raised £600 for SU2C (Stand Up to Cancer), one of Ronan Keating’s favourite charities.