Thomas Adams Music Department
Thank you for visiting the internet home of Thomas Adams School and Sixth Form College Music Department!
We hope you will find our website useful and hope that it will be a valuable resource for students, parents and staff. The website is in an almost constant state of development with new material being added all the time. Please take your time to look around and if you have any queries please contact us.
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The Music Department is based at St. Peter's Annexe, Noble Street, Wem. The building was the town primary school until relativley recently. The school converted the building in 2001 into a dedicated building for music. It consists of two main teaching rooms, a music technology classroom, a computer room and four smaller rooms for instrumental teaching.
Adjazz - The Thomas Adams Big Band
ADJAZZ was formed in February 1986 by Steve Rodwell, then head of music at Thomas Adams School. Steve had a dream of forming a big band in the traditional sense. It was open to pupils from 11 to 18 with two requirements for membership – talent and commitment. These requirements are still the overriding principles of the band today. The line up of the original band included a full rhythm, brass and reed section with occasional vocals. The repertoire was based around the ‘Miller’ standards and expanded over time to include many jazz standards. Recently the band has evolved with new sets including latin and more popular numbers from the Phil Collins Big Band Library. The line up has developed as well to include more vocal numbers.
Adjazz in 1988
Success was soon achieved with tours to Austria in 1988 and Switzerland in 1989. On the back of success abroad the band embarked on a series of UK concerts raising money for charity. An invitation to appear on ‘Blue Peter’ was followed up with the first tour to the USA, building a reputation that led to return visits.
Adjazz on tour in Austria, 1988*
The band have appeared numerous times on TV and Radio including Channel 4’s ‘Big Breakfast’, BBC Radio’s 1, 2 and 5 as well as ITV’s ‘Hit The Road’ and Barrymore’s ‘ My Kind of People’. More recently they have appeared on BBC Music Live and opened the Strasbourg Music Festival in 2002. They have also given concerts in Amsterdam, California, Florida, France, New Orleans, Washington and New York. In June 2004 they toured the Czech Republic performing in Prague as part of an International Festival. In July 2005 they travelled to Paris to perform at Disneyland and there then followed a tour to Barcelona in 2006 (their 20th Anniversary). In July 2007 the band did a very successful mini-tour to Belgium, performing in Mons and Dinant. As well as performing regularly at Ronnie Scott's and at the Birmingham International Jazz Festival they have recorded four CD’s including ‘Take it as Red’, ‘Blue Chip’, ‘In The Pink’ and ‘Fruit’.
Adjazz on mini-tour in Belgium, July 2007
In the summer of 2001 James Barrow was asked to lead an initiative funded by Youth Music as part of the Newroots Youth Music Action Zone. This project was managed by ShYAN. The first part of the project in North Shropshire was a taster workshop in a number of schools and youth centres. After the initial taster sessions, one of which was in Wem, the second part of the project kicked in with regular (once every two weeks) sessions through the spring term of 2002. James worked with a team of about 24 students aged between 14-16. Of all the projects in the whole of Shropshire this was the most successful in terms of progress and attendance. At the end of the spring term the funding stopped. However the ‘Taiko Rangers’ had already been born and had started to fuse the art of Japanese drumming with modern dance music creating the unique fusion which is TEKNO TAIKO. The students however still managed to perform in an outdoor festival in July 2002 as part of an arts week. It rained… a lot!
The Taiko Rangers performing at the 3rd UK Taiko Festival in July 2007
In September 2002 the project was extended with further funding from Youth Music. At the same time the ‘Taiko Rangers’ were invited by Youth Music to perform at the Arts Ball on Friday September 6th at the ICC in Birmingham. Enter the Taiko Rangers in their distinctive luminous Youth Music green and pink into the black and gold dinner party atmosphere for the great and the good of the Art World. ‘Rare Wolf’, the DJ sliced the earth with the start of “Plump DJs..” and then thunder as the energised Taiko Rangers beat out their eastern rhythms, exploring the gaps and beats of the western music. A night not easily forgotten! The synthesis of raw physical energy and complexity of sound that is TEKNO TAIKO was born.
Throughout 2002 James continued to work with the ‘Rangers’. Many performances followed and more students were recruited. Recordings were made and then the funding dried up… but not before a set of drums were made by James, one of the many legacies he left.
The new academic year found the group with no mentor or leader and no funding. So, they looked within and planned what they might do…. And so the core team of Todd Smallbone, Abi Edwards, Jacob Foord and Sarah Fischer decided to take up where James had left off. They started meeting weekly and working with younger students to pass on what they had learned about the art of Taiko. This developed into a zealous desire to spread the gospel according to Taiko and culminated in a series of workshops in local primary and secondary schools in Shropshire in the summer of 2004. Then they were invited to run workshops at the Sidmouth International Festival; a great way to end the year. Whilst there they saw ‘Kagemusha’ and were inspired!
So, what to do next? Well no sign of any more money from Youth Music meant we had to look elsewhere to fund the development programme. James put us in touch with Japan 21. I filled out a bid form and they gave us £1000 for the year. So, what next… well the workshops continued and yet there still seemed something missing. So it was back to composition. Jacob and the other Rangers have been busy putting together a series of new pieces fusing the art of Taiko with modern western dance styles, taking their influences from Taiko poetry amongst other things. The pieces were performed for the first time at the 1st UK Taiko Festival hosted by ‘Kagemusha’ in Exeter in July 2005.
Jacob, Abi, Sarah and Todd ended the summer with a series of workshops at Towersey introducing scores of youngsters to the wonders of Taiko… then they went to university! Thus ended the first chapter in the story.
In 2006 a rebuild of the ‘Taiko Rangers’ was necessary due to the exodus of the previous year… and so a team building exercise was planned which of course revolved around the building of a set of drums for workshop use out of irrigation pipe and lorry tarpaulin! Having built a new set of drums with design help from ‘Kagemusha’ the team started rehearsing a new set of pieces. The ‘Tekno’ was out and so back to tradition with ‘Fearless’ and ‘Edge of Magic’ with a ‘Rangers’ twist. The first performance was in December, with further performances in March and May. At the beginning of July the ‘Rangers’ will host a series of three workshops in partner schools in North Shropshire. The highlight of the year however is a second visit to perform at the ‘UK Taiko Festival’ in July! The ‘Rangers’ performed two of their own compositions; ‘Ryōtsu Jinku’ (based on a traditional folk song) and ‘Yumegatari’ (an account of a dream).
The Band has produced some memorable recordings over the past twenty years. You can purchase the following CD's and DVD's from us. Each CD is available seperately at £10 (including postage and packing). Or, you can buy all three CD's for £20. The DVD is available at £10 or you can have all three CD's and the DVD for £25 (including postage and packing).
To order simply send an email to email@example.com stating what you want and where you want it sending. I'll then send you an invoice. Payment is by cheque and once the cheque has cleared your recordings will be on their way to you. Satisfaction is guaranteed!
Take It As Red
The first CD but not the first album... In the Pink is being remastered and will soon be available. 'Take it As Red' contains 18 tracks including 'The Queen Bee', 'Song of India', God Bless the Child', 'Fine and Mellow', 'The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy', 'Septembro', 'Pennsylvania 65000', 'Bad Bad Leroy Brown', 'Almost Like Being In Love', 'Pick Up The Pieces', 'That Ole Devil Called Love', 'High Society', 'He's Mine', 'Lucretia', 'Chattanooga' and 'Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans'.
Where Are They Now?
Currently reading English and Music Joint Honours at The University of Leeds majoring in composition on the musical side of things. I am also on the committee of the Leeds University Union Dance Band, holding the sole drum chair in the University’s only Big-Band ensemble. LUUDB gigs regularly playing at venues such as The Wardrobe and Hi-Fi Club in Leeds city centre as well as events including Society Balls and the Leeds University Summer Ball Which was attended by 8000 people and was headlined by The Automatic.
Eve Letitia Fayle is a bass player currently living and working in Leeds, England. From 2003 - 2006, Eve studied electric bass under the direction of bass virtuoso Zoltan Dekany at Leeds College of Music and graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) Jazz Studies degree, major in performance and composition. Since graduating, she has been establishing herself in the North's ever growing music scene and is currently working with Micky P Kerr, with whom she performed with at this years Leeds Carling Festival.
Eve is currently in the studio recording with Micky P Kerr & The Dudes, and will be supporting The Pigeon Detectives in Oct & Nov '07. Live footage and an interview of Micky P Kerr & The Dudes at Leeds Carling Festival can be found at www.youtube.com 'Micky P Kerr & The Dudes. Other bands Eve has been involved with include, The Al Wood Big Band, Omar Puente Latin Group, Leeds College of Music Pit Band amongst many others. Eve is now developing her skills on double bass and is available for performance and tuition.
Micky @ Leeds Carling Festival 2007, warming up the crowd on the TOPMAN unsigned band stage.
Currently at LIPA, music degree there....
Gigs at The Carling Academy venues in Liverpool and other big nights like Common Ground in Liverpool, Croatia for The Garden Festival with 6ix Toys and Diesler Live Experience, Jazz Cafe in London with Diesler Live Experience.
Up-coming gigs include, Club Merlin, Budapest, Crate Soul Club, Granada and Hague Jazz Festival, Holland and various dates around UK.
Playing bass on tracks for Diesler's new album "The Rhythm Station" released through Freestyle Records on October 15th.
Doing a week of two hours sleep a night and not turning into a gibbering wreck!
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