Topsham Rock School wins cash prize

MEMBERS of Topsham Rock School are in high spirits after finding out the musical group has scooped �3000 from a community initiative.

The school, for youngsters aged between 10 and 16, has secured the top prize in the Natwest community fund.

Launched by the bank last August, the fund forms part of its customer charter to support local charities and projects. It invited customers and local people to decide who would benefit.

A total of 380 individual funds were handed out nationwide.

Communities were invited to vote last November on which charities or projects would prevail.

The news means Topsham Rock School starts 2011 in celebratory mood – just as it ended last year after it released their first CD.

Produced in a recording studio in Exeter, the CD, called The 2010 Session, features 10 original compositions from the school’s six bands.

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Thrilled with its outcome, Michael Thomas, founder of Topsham Rock School, said: “I’m just absolutely blown away with how good it is especially the sound quality. It sounds like a professional recording.

“The kids loved the experience of being able to go into a studio.”

Testament to the success and popularity of the rock school in Topsham, the long-term aspiration of its founder is to expand and hopefully start a similar organisation in Exmouth.

“Everyone involved with the school is so enthusiastic and it clearly works really well,” explained Mr Thomas.

“Kids come every week – with the odd exceptions – and they love it.”

Katherine Stainer, 11, said: “I have been a member of Topsham Rock School for two years.

“I became a member through my brother, Sam, who was at the very first taster session and a member from the very beginning. He is now a junior tutor.”

She added: “I have played many gigs with my band, Uninvited Company.

“Our first gig was at Manor Gardens. Back then we were called Caution Horses. We played the song we wrote called ‘I Wanna Be,’ it was great fun.

“We have been offered much more than just playing gigs, including improving our musical ability, rock pantos, like Peter Pan and the Battle of the Bands where I played Tinkerbell.

“Thank you Rock School it’s been a blast!

For more information on Topsham Rock School, send an email to Michael Thomas at: or visit the following website address: