North-east pupils celebrate Rock Challenge success

Fraserburgh South Park rock challenge 2019
Fraserburgh South Park rock challenge 2019

A host of north-east schools enjoyed success as they took part in the national finals of a performing arts competition.

More than 1,500 pupils from 19 schools across Scotland took part in the finals of the Global Rock Challenge Scottish finals at Dundee’s Caird Hall.

Longside School

Both the Rock Challenge, for secondary pupils, and J Rock, aimed at primary-aged children, were held with schools from the north-east tasting success in both events.

In the J Rock event, four of the top five schools came from the north-east, including winners Fraserburgh South Park Primary.

The pupils won the top prize for their Halloween-themed performance entitled Trick or Treat? Up Witches Street!

Mintlaw Primary

Longside Primary came second with “11”, focused on the 50th anniversary of man’s first steps on the surface of the moon.

Third place went to St Andrews Primary in Fraserburgh with Mother Nature’s Dream, centred around the issue of global warming.

Mintlaw Primary’s Make A Change all about young people’s struggles with mental health, saw them take fifth place.

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In the Rock Challenge, Mackie Academy in Stonehaven finished in fourth for its performance Every Man for Himself, focusing on a young family’s search for a better life.

The schools’ efforts were praised by Gillian Owen, chairwoman of Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services committee.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear how our Aberdeenshire Council schools performed at the Rock Challenge.

“They have all done us proud and it only goes to show that we have a wealth of talented young people representing us – all have marvellous confidence which will help them throughout their lives.

“Congratulations to all who took part and in particular a big well done to Fraserburgh South Park.”

St Andrews School

Fraserburgh and District councillor Charles Buchan also welcomed the north-east schools’ success in the event.

He said: “That’s great news for Fraserburgh. The teams of pupils, parents and staff have been working on the show for the last 12 months, and the success is very well deserved.”

Fellow councillor Brian Topping said: “I think it’s fantastic. The pupils get so enthused about preparing for the show and the performance itself.

“I’m delighted to see one of our local schools, South Park, winning. My children went there and my grandson is a pupil there now so it is particularly nice to see them doing well.

“It’s quite an achievement and the parents and the school, as well as the pupils themselves, will be extremely proud of what they have done.”

Mackie Academy

Organisers of the Rock Challenge say it gives young people a valuable opportunity to perform in a professional arts venue. They say it also encourages an adrenaline-based high through performing and discourages youngsters from using alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

It also promotes teamwork, self-esteem, pupils’ relationships with teachers and their communities and discourages antisocial behaviour.

The competition involves a group of pupils from each school putting on an eight-minute performance.

The winners are chosen by a panel of judges from a range of areas.

Among them was the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s area manager Rab Middlemiss, who said: “I thought the show was absolutely fantastic.

“When you look at all the schools, the work that went in and the energy from all the children, they’re performing way beyond their age.

“The scenery as well, it’s been quite frankly stunning.

“All in all it’s just absolutely brilliant.”