Derby Grammar School pupils band together

Four students have formed a group, GCHQ, to take their love of music to the next level

Four Derby Grammar School students have taken their love of music to the next level by forming their own band.

George Hilliam, Jonathan Hilliam, Amogha Ramasharan and Owen Walters have called their group GCHQ, and already performed at several events.

George said he first got the inspiration when he performed a small concert with Jonathan and two music teachers.

He explained: “Six months later, me, Jonathan, Owen and Amogha – along with occasional fifth member, Harry McArthur-Bale – performed some small group jazz, and then we all started practising in school.”

“Our music teacher asked us to play at a jazz and curry night,” added George, “held to raise funds for the annual school trip to Tanzania.

“My dad is an orchestra conductor, and we’ve played during the intervals at some of his concerts. We also played at the school’s spring market.”

The band played at Brailsford Church on Easter Sunday, and is also set to perform at the school’s summer fete in June.

George added: “I really enjoy trying to publicise the band. I’ve set up an Instagram account for us, and we’ve got our own branded t-shirts. I am doing music as my skill for the Duke of Edinburgh awards, too. I think we’ve been musical all of our lives, and this is all about having fun.”

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Amogha said he enjoyed rehearsing and performing with his friends.

“We all get on well together,” he explained, “and it’s nice to perform with other people; we help each other and tell each other what we need to work on.”

“I’ve been so impressed with their self-motivation and organisation,” said Nik Coley, head of music at Derby. “They are so enthusiastic about what they do, practising at every possible opportunity – before school, break and lunchtime – and are an inspiration to other musicians in the school.”

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