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S’koolFest 2023 – local young music talent raise the roof!

16 June 2023

Northbrook College’s annual S’koolFest takes place at Worthing Pavilion Theatre. The show was attended by an audience of over 400 people, with 82 young musicians performing on the same stage as Jimi Hendrix in 1967. Since its inception in 2010, S’koolFest has evolved into a platform for local young people to  showcase their talents, while fostering ties with local schools and community organisations.

This year’s programme included performances by bands, solo vocalists, and rappers from AudioActive, The Angmering School, B Sharp Guitar School, BHASVIC, Bohunt, Brighton College, Davison High, Felpham Community College, Northbrook College, Oak Grove College, Shoreham Allstars, Varndean School, and Worthing High. Jo Bates from AudioActive said, ‘We were delighted to be part of S’koolFest 2023, it was a great opportunity for some of our young artists to perform in an established venue with a large audience. We were so proud of all the young people that performed, this kind of thing really helps to build confidence and new skills’. 

One of the highlights of S’koolFest is the chance for these aspiring young artists to record their music in Northbrook’s state of the art recording studios following the event. This experience provides an exciting and inspiring opportunity for the young performers to get a high-quality recording of their music that they can share on various platforms to promote their music and build their portfolios. Andrew, the parent of the drummer from Worthing High’s ‘B Sharp’ band who performed on the night said, ‘The opportunity to visit the studios at Northbrook College’s West Durrington site is valuable as it not only gives young musicians the opportunity to record in such great facilities, but also opens their eyes to the wonderful educational options that will be available to them when they are older, right on their door-step’.

S’koolFest is the brainchild of Northbrook Music Department and originated as an initiative to offer university-level students hands-on experience in organising and hosting music shows. A key figure in the development of the project is Mike Pailthorpe, ‘The evolution of S’koolFest has been remarkable. What began as a small endeavour to provide our students with practical experience has now blossomed into a highly anticipated music festival’.

Throughout the years, numerous young performers who participated in S’koolFest have achieved remarkable success with many pursuing Diploma and Degree courses at the College. ‘It has become a launching pad for many talented individuals, providing them with the necessary foundation to excel in their musical pursuits. We are immensely proud of our students’ achievements and the impact S’koolFest has had on their professional journeys’ added Pailthorpe. For the last two years, the organisation of S’koolFest has been led by Northbrook’s team of university-level Student Ambassadors, a paid work opportunity funded by the Office for Students’ UniConnect funding stream.

Norman Murchie, the college’s UniConnect Programme Coordinator, coordinates the scheme, ‘Our Student Ambassadors were amazing and really are the glue that holds it together. Their professional approach, hard work, and dedication to making it a success is really impressive. It’s so inspiring for the younger performers to work alongside their older peers at such an important and valuable event.’

Northbrook College is committed to empowering the next generation of musicians through initiatives like S’koolFest. By offering valuable experiences and invaluable opportunities, the college continues to nurture and inspire young talent, making a significant impact on the music industry. The college recognises the importance of strengthening connections with local schools and community organisations. By working collaboratively the college aims to foster a supportive and enriching environment for aspiring musicians, promoting the growth of the local music scene. You can find out more about the Music Department at Northbrook College here: or if you are interested in finding out more about our community collaborative outreach work email