News & Updates

Silver Arts Award for Westbridge Pupil

A talented pupil who attends Westbridge Academy has completed his Silver Arts Award.

Neo Reilly has been working on his music production skills for his Arts Award for at least two years. He made use of the studio at Westbridge Academy, Punch Studios in Ipswich and his own home laptop to complete his qualification.

Neo said: “The school has supported my music since I joined because it’s my passion and I love it. Music has helped me deal with personal issues and cope with school too. I am very lucky to have great teachers and tutors who have helped me along the way – pushing me to succeed and do well.”

Neo used programmes such as Logic Pro to create loops and manipulate sounds to compose his own tracks. Taking his music and studio time very seriously, Neo was soon creating full instrumentals and sharing them with his fellow pupils.

The moderator for Neo’s work said: “I very much enjoyed exploring Neo’s Silver Arts Award journey! Neo’s Silver portfolio was inspiring and I am keen to find out how his music career progresses! I thought the work was well evidenced and met the required level 2 standard for Silver.”

Earlier this year, a group of pupils performed at the ‘Celebration 2020’ festival at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk. Neo was instrumental in putting together a track which another pupil, Kai, rapped over during the performance. The beat was broken into loops and performed live on stage electronically. The feedback from the backstage staff at Snape Maltings was fantastic – they were blown away by the whole Westbridge performance.

Dr Mike Challis, Neo’s Music, Media and Computing Tutor at Westbridge Academy said: “Neo has real talent when it comes to using technology to develop tracks on the computer. He now uses Logic faster than me and can-do amazing things!

“He has a good ear and can develop a beat and thematic element really quickly. He is also inquisitive and can find ways of achieving what he wants to do without supervision.

“Neo has a very clear idea of what he wants to achieve and is driven to create music all the time. He has a broad range of influences and learns from multiple styles of music. He has really enjoyed his journey through this Arts Award, he has really made the most of the professionals who have come in to work with him and has learnt a lot.”

Jeff Nang, from All Things Entertainment & Learning at Nukiyo Music was one of the professionals that came to Westbridge to work with Neo. He said: “There are moments in your life where you come across certain individuals who have a spark, a natural confidence, a talent which is honest, raw and refined. Neo is one of these individuals. I was in awe with his music production skills, his ability to listen to my guidance and advice.

“He absorbed with an egoless mentality which is a skill that you only find in super talents and I am truly grateful we crossed paths. I’m excited to see where his future and growth leads him.”

Neo’s main goal in life is to tour the world and perform on stage in front of an audience. His inspirations include The1975 (Matty Healy), RadioHead, Tame Impala and many more.

Click here to listen to one of Neo’s tracks ‘A Song About A Girl.”

At the Raedwald Trust we believe passionately in nurturing and showcasing our pupils’ creative and musical gifts as part of our broad and balanced curriculum offer.