College Music students remember former Charlatan’s drummer Jon Brookes at special awards ceremony

Music Technology students at Shrewsbury College were rewarded for their efforts at their annual awards ceremony this week - with one scooping the main accolade, named after former Charlatans’ drummer, Jon Brookes.

The Jon Brookes Award for Endeavour was established after Mr Brookes, former drummer with world-renowned British Indie band The Charlatans, became affiliated with the College when he helped to launch its Roland Academy for Music in 2009.

Over the years he held student workshops focused on both drumming and working in the music industry as a whole, which included impressive personal demonstrations as well as giving students the opportunity to play alongside him to famous tracks by his band.

In late 2013, Jon passed away from a brain tumour – but his legacy through the College lives on. Deborah Hill-Brookes, Jon’s wife presented the award in honour of her husband with the help from one of their three children, Coco Brookes.

Year 1, Level 3 Music Technology student, Oliver Davies aged 17 from Bridgnorth, scooped The Jon Brookes Award for Endeavour.

Oliver said: “I’m very happy, I couldn’t believe it, I was speechless – to win this Award is a real honour and I’d like to thank all my teachers at Shrewsbury College for nominating me.”

Other prizes and certificates handed out to students who had achieved a lot and made exceptional contributions to the course this year included:

Best Recording EP – Callum McIntyre, Jack Smith and Brodie Normandin
Performer of the Year – Sam Hendrik
Bromance Award – Jordan Baggott and Josh Dunning
Hard Graft Award – Ben Williams
Outstanding Contribution – Brodie Normandin and Aaron Evans

Music Technology Teacher at Shrewsbury College, Beth McGowan commented: “The students have worked very hard and it’s important to celebrate their achievement, this was made even more special by having Debbie and Coco here. We chose Oliver Davies as the overall winner as he has worked really hard and has shown remarkable improvement throughout the year.”

Oliver, who came to the College from Oldbury Wells School in Bridgnorth, is planning to pursue a career as a professional musician.

Deborah Hill-Brookes, Jon’s wife, said: “This is the third time I have been at the awards event since Jon helped at the College and the first time I have been asked to present the award in his honour. This year, it is the first time Coco Brookes, one of Jon’s three children, has been able to come and see the award being presented in her dad’s name. I’m so glad the College has seen fit to carry on this award in Jon’s name. Jon would have been elated to see everyone here at this event, recognising the students in this way for their hard work. He loved spending time with the students and was passionate about helping them learn about music and its production as it was always his passion. My congratulations go to Oliver Davies and I hope he goes on to have a fantastic career in this industry.”

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