The Duchess’s Community High School has been awarded the prestigious ‘Music Mark’ status after nomination and support from Music Partnership North – Northumberland. This award follows on from the Artsmark Gold Status the school already has and is more recognition for the outstanding work that goes into that area of school life.

The letter of congratulations, received last week by Head Teacher Maurice Hall, commented on the school’s “dedication to offering and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum,” and staff were praised for “the hard work they put in to ensuring that pupils can access and engage with a high quality music education”.

The announcement came in the same week that students auditioned for roles in the forthcoming production of ‘Popstars the 90s Musical’, due to be performed at the newly refurbished Alnwick Playhouse on the 12th-15th February 2020.

An impressive 210 students – that’s 15% of the school population – expressed an interest in acting, band, set design, sound, lighting and costume. Assistant Headteacher Martin Allenby acknowledged, “the level of interest speaks for itself, and the fact that we have so many students who are willing to engage with what we offer as a school reminds us of the fundamental impact an excellent Creative Arts programme can bring.”

Of these students, a record-breaking 103 students auditioned for a part on stage. Jonathan Ridley, Head of Music at DCHS, admitted there were some tough choices to be made. “It was fantastic to have so many students audition and some were very notable. Everyone who tried out should be proud of going through the process.”

As a Music Mark School Member, the High School will continue to deliver high-quality musical and social outcomes for our young people. And if you’re a fan of 90s pop-music, you can judge for yourself in February.