by John Blow
Young musicians and aspiring entrepreneurs turned out for a music and business competition at Leeds’ prestigious O2 Academy last night.
Secondary and sixth form pupils from nine Leeds schools took part in The Association of Music and Promotion Awards (AMP) – a music and enterprise competition.
Allerton High School’s hip-hop group D-FAULT were crowned winners of the music category, winning 10 hours’ studio time with judge Adrian Burch at a recording suite at Old Chapel Studios in Holbeck. And Cockburn School’s Abstract group were victorious in the business section.
Michael Chambers, 64, grandfather of Harbour guitarist Olivia Erodotu, 15, of Boston Spa school, said: “For most of them it’s a new experience and you never know what it is going to lead to – a leap into the unknown so to speak.”
Pupils nominated a band after internal school heats and set up business groups with each school in charge of specific area last night, such as merchandise or hospitality.
Jacqueline Baker, 41, who was responsible for AMP Schools and Business mentors, said before the event: “Everything you see is all done by students. The ownership is on them to make it their event.”
Pupils pitched their business models in the afternoon – a one minute video and speech about challenges they have faced in a professional manner – and bands took to the stage from 7pm.
Business judge Michala Parker, 42, said: “The standard was incredibly good – so difficult to choose between them.”
Twenty per cent of the results were judged by professionals from across the business world and music industry, with the rest decided by the audience – whose choices are published on a live text wall.
Stewart McGill, business studies and maths teacher at Ralph Thoresby High School, whose business group Hit the Roof and band Twisted Pineapple appeared, said: “Clearly for them as students it means they’ve got so much that they can write down on their CVs.
“But it’s much more than that – it’s about how they’ve been successful and how they’ve taken a project from cradle to grave,” he added.