Members of the Showband (sponsored by Newport Chiropractic) from the Abraham Darby Specialist School for the Performing Arts, Madeley, Telford returned on Friday from their performance in the School National Wind Band Festival at the National Festival of Music for Youth at the Birmingham Symphony Hall, with their fifth consecutive Outstanding Performance Award and their sixth such award in seven years. This particular award was the first time that an Outstanding Performance had been awarded at this National Festival for five consecutive years to the same single school in their respective category and bettered the four consecutive awards that was achieved by Northampton School for Boys in the early 1990s under the baton of Martin Sutton. The School has now been the recipients of 14 National awards in various categories in the nine years that the school has been invited to attend the National Festival, a record that Simon Platford is particularly proud of. The Showband played Stephen Bulla’s composition entitled Firestorm, written to commemorate the events of the first Gulf War in 1991 and which was completed on the same day that Kuwait was liberated by United Nation forces. The piece was also played at the National Festival on the first occasion that the School achieved the top award back in 2000. Simon Platford, the school’s Director of Performing Arts praised the hard work during rehearsals that the Showband had undertaken in the build up to this Festival, and stated that the awards that had been gained over these years was purely as a result of the dedication and commitment shown by all the band members past and present. I am particularly proud of this latest award for all the members as this result is unprecedented as no other school has achieved five consecutive national awards in the National School Wind Band Festival. He also stated that this particular Festival every year represented an occasion where the school said goodbye to a number of Band members and that this year was no exception. I wish to thank in particular Mel Baker, Oliver DeVine, Liam Gillespie, Jack Marley-Payne, Alex Plim, James Roberts and Tracy Whysall, who have put in long and dedicated service to the various bands of the school over many years and have enjoyed continued success and I wish them every good wish for the future.