Shire's schools get set for Rock Challenge

Pupils from Peterhead take part in a previous Rock Challenge performance
Pupils from Peterhead take part in a previous Rock Challenge performance

A number of schools across Aberdeenshire are eagerly preparing for this year’s Rock Challenge and J Rock, with heats taking place over the next few days due to the popularity of the competition.

Rock Challenge and J Rock will be delivering more shows than ever this year at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, with six secondary schools from Aberdeenshire on the list.

Peterhead Academy will be showcasing their 2019 performance, as they have automatically qualified for the Northern Premier Final! The school saw tremendous success in 2018, which was their tenth year as a Premier Team.

Peterhead placed second at the Northern Premier Final, meaning they qualified for the National Final, which happens only once every three years. They went on to place fourth at this final, winning a further eight Awards of Excellence.

Clerkhill School will be returning after 2018 success, which saw them win ten Awards of Excellence at their heat, placing first. They will be looking to emulate these achievements this year, when placing first means a school will qualify for our first ever Scottish Junior Final, taking place at Caird Hall, Dundee.

Longside Primary School will also be hoping to match their previous success. They placed second in the 2018 heats, winning twelve Awards of Excellence, including the coveted Spirit of J Rock Award, which sees the other teams vote for the school that has been the friendliest and most supportive throughout the day.

Five teams will also be taking part in the event for the first time. This includes the Turriff Cluster Schools, a team which is made up of nine schools. All the schools taking part will have worked hard to put together their first performance.

Performing today (Thursday, March 28) are Maud School, Turriff Cluster Primary Schools (First Time Entry), Crimond School, Mintlaw Primary School, Udny Green Primary School (First Time Entry), Longside Primary School, New Deer Primary School and Meiklemill School (First Time Entry).

Tomorrow will see entries from Kellands Primary School, Stuartfield and Fetterangus Primary Schools (First Time Entry), St Andrews Primary School, Port Erroll School, Strichen School, Fraserburgh South Park Primary School, Clerkhill School and Buchanhaven Primary School (First Time Entry).

The final performances to be held on Saturday, March 30 will be by Peterhead Academy (Showcasing Premier Team), Mearns Academy, Mintlaw Academy, Fraserburgh Academy, Mackie Academy, Kemnay Academy and Perth High School.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council's Education and Children's Services Committee commented: "Good luck to all of our pupils and colleagues who are supporting them in this week's final of the Rock Challenge and J Rock.

"The preparation involved in taking part in this competition is extensive and I'd like to recognise the significant commitment made by participants as well as recognising the extremely high standard of entries. Well done, folks."

Event Manager, Charlotte Payne, added: “I look forward to seeing the wide range of performances that the schools bring to our events every year. It’s always fantastic to see the hard work put in by all the schools realised on stage. In 2019, we are putting on more shows than in any other year, and I can’t wait to take on the challenge."