SMS Customer Feedback

Brass Blast – March 5th 2018

DVD Available:

brass blast

Haslucks Green Junior School

Dear Richard,

As ever this event was an evening our children will always remember. It really was an amazing concert and a great showcase not only for the children to show their own skills but for the music service to be able to exhibit the wonderful talent uncovered and nurtured by skilful, dedicated teachers. Even after 8 years of attending Brass Blast I am still amazed by the show and feel immensley proud that our pupils are involved.

I cannot stress enough how grateful we are that Solihull Music Service has such a fantastic team of teachers who go above and beyond constantly to create the spectacular.

Last night was just that and more. Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved.

Kind regards,


Shirley Heath Junior School

Morning Richard,

WOW!  Once again, another fantastic evening.  My children haven’t stopped taking about it today (despite being very tired!).

Please pass on my thanks and gratitude to all SMS staff that have given up their time and supported us at Shirley Heath,

Looking forward to the next one already! 😊

Tudor Grange St James

Knowing I would forget to send this if I waited until the morning, I thought I had better send a quick thank you to everyone who made this evening possible.

Having worked within Solihull for quite a while (!) I have seen how the music service has continued, in the face of financial adversity, to strive to offer the best for so many pupils. So thank you. I know how much effort goes in to such a logistical nightmare and yet you still all keep doing it year after year. It is much appreciated.


OSOsic II – February 16th 2018

ossosic ii2

DVD Available:

The origins of the OSoSiC project, Richard Jones, Assistant Head of Solihull Music said: “A network of music teachers meets throughout the year to discuss and share ways to develop music in Solihull schools. It provides support to teachers and allows staff to network with other Solihull members. 

The concert is based on the BBC Ten Pieces and Richard spoke about the importance of inspiring young people to perform and about the crucial role of the partnerships in projects: “The Ten Pieces provide a vehicle to consolidate links within the Solihull Music Hub, which is further enhanced by our partnerships with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the BBC Concert Orchestra.” 

Shirley Heath Junior School

Hi Richard,

WOW! What else can I say about yesterday’s performance.

As always, SMS continues to provide first class opportunities for the young people of Solihull and yesterday was no exception. How fortunate they were to have this incredible opportunity. I am so immensely proud of our six young players who excelled themselves in every way possible, but also of everyone involved – what a team. Your words too rang true in so many ways. As musicians are fully aware of the power of music and the impact that it has. There is always hope!

To pull off such an incredible performance was no easy task – please pass on my thanks and gratitude to all staff involved. Without you all, the young people of Solihull wouldn’t get the opportunities that they get. I am once again grateful for the continuous opportunities, support and involvement that SMS has with the children of Shirley Heath.

Have a well deserved and rested half term.

Dickens Heath Primary School:

Hi Richard

Thank you to you too.  It was a brilliant concert and opportunity for all those children.  One of mine described it as ‘exhilarating!’ and I have had positive feedback from parents and our Head  who was there.  She posted on our facebook page that she was ‘blown away by the talent on that stage tonight’.  Thank you for all your work in making it happen.

Tudor Grange Academy:

Superb effort Richard and thank you for working so hard to bring about these opportunities for the students and staff.  It was an excellent evening.

Mr Darren Turner, MA Ed


Armonico Consort:

Hi Richard,

Well done for organising such an amazing event! I know how much work goes into things like this, but it was sooooo worth it, and the standing ovation from the audience said it all!!!

I have to say I was really impressed with the school choirs. My rehearsals at the conservatoire and on the day were really intense, because they had to be, but the singers rose to the challenge and focussed incredibly well – which was really impressive! It was great that so many staff joined in too – including the 2 drama teachers from Parkhall.

I thought the whole programme was very well chosen and varied, with the big orchestras numbers, the solo pieces, the choir pieces and then of course the ‘grande finale’ of the Dies Irae, which is really not an easy piece for school children to perform!

Dan, Jay and the other conservatoire staff were great too, and so encouraging of the children. As a partnership project between various organisations, it worked superbly.

So one again, well done to you, Sarah and anyone else involved in the overall planning.  Have a good half term break!!

Dan Watson – Conductor:

Dear Richard,

I wanted to thank you both. For organising such an inspirational project for your students, and for looking after me whilst I worked with you. Not just that, but you both looked after everyone in that hall, and it is much appreciated.

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I really enjoyed working with you all, and am forming fond memories of the whole project. Your students worked very hard, and all members of staff were welcoming and supportive. I told Gaynor after the performance, but the choir sounded fantastic, both in their solo items and when singing with the orchestra. It was nice to see a few old faces too. Andy Lancaster was a few years ahead of Sally and I at the Conservatoire, Julian (percussion) is an ex colleague of mine from King Henry VIII in Coventry, and Matt (trombone) used to work with me for Forest Arts in Walsall. Funny old world!

I’d be very happy to work with you guys in the future, so hopefully an opportunity will arise. Please always feel free to get in contact if you need anything, or if you want to bounce any thoughts or ideas around.

Thanks for having me and please do keep in touch, and keep up the good work!

ossosic ii

March 2017 – Cavern trip


Cavern 2017 (5)

  • Hello Rich

Sounds like a great time was had by all! Thank you so much for your commitment and enthusiasm for supporting such a fine event. I definitely want to be there one day!

Best wishes

Mr Talbot – Headteacher Langley

  • Hi Rich

 Thanks for organising a great day! The kids really loved it!

see you soon

Miss Rafferty

Teacher of Music 

Alderbrook School

  • Dear Richard,Can you pass on a huge thank you to all your staff who gave up their time for the concert?  I have heard the Cavern was a great success again and we appreciate the opportunities you create for our children.Kind regards,Kara EvansHeadteacherShirley Heath Junior SchoolDear Staff
  • Can I just add my thanks to all of the staff involved in yesterday. It was great to see so many school students getting the opportunity to perform on a world renowned stage.The students were excellent both excellent performers and also showed there real passion and we should all be under no illusion that the future of music in the country is in safe hands.As schools face difficult decisions about funding music and arts under increasing pressures to show progress in the traditionally more academic subjects  it is events like this that help us to show schools the real impact music can have.As a staff group I was incredibly proud of the passion that you showed and the hard work that you all put in to make the day a success.Well done everybody and I am already looking forward to the next event!Toby Smith – Head Of Solihull Music Service
  •  Hello Richard,Many thanks for organising the day and for inviting us again.  We all had a fabulous time!Please pass on our thanks to Mr Sansome too.Karen O’Keefe – Head Teacher Oak Cottage
  • Richard,It was superb – thank you for all the work you are doing with our children present and past!Kind RegardsMstthew TaylorDeputy Headteacher and Inclusion ManagerShirley Heath Junior School
  • Richard can you please pass on my thanks to all at the music service for what was a truly memorable experience. It was the first time I have been able to attend the Cavern club and was quite overwhelmed by the super opportunity it is for the young people of Solihull.  It all ran so smoothly and a great time was had by all.I appreciate all the time and effort that goes on behind the scenes and during the months running up to it.Thank you all for your dedication that goes way beyond your rolesKind regards.Sarah HobdenHeadteacherCastle Bromwich Junior School

Comments from the cavern Trip – March 16th 2015

Good morning Richard,

Thank you for another great visit to the Cavern! the children and their parents all said they had a fantastic time and are grateful for such an amazing opportunity – (the staff enjoyed it too).

Enjoy your weekend!

School office : Please forward to Miss Henton

Miss Henton

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to make The Cavern trip happen for the two Year 7 bands. This has been a wonderful opportunity for them all. Jamie has thoroughly enjoyed the practicing, performing at the school Rock and Pop gig, The Cavern trip itself but most of all being involved in something so exciting so early on in his HofE career! The whole experience has really boosted his confidence and passion for drumming!.

I understand that Mix Melody would like to continue practicing together and I was wondering if this is something which the School will be encouraging. It would seem a shame to loose the momentum now.

Again, many thanks.

Kind regards


The whole day was awesome, I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the members of Strumtastic.

Your enthusiasm and commitment are incredible – thanks again.


Hi Richard,

Thank you so much for the trip yesterday. Our kids were thrilled to be involved and loved every second. It was such an amazing experience for them (and for Mark and me) so we really, really appreciate it. Thank you so much!

Hi Rich,

Thank you for yesterday, we really enjoyed everything about the day and such a great opportunity.

Looking forward to next year!


Dear Richard,

The Cavern was absolutely fantastic! I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff involved as the day was absolutely amazing and the children had an incredible experience.

Thank you for inviting Shirley Heath.

Kind regards,

Kara Evans
Shirley Heath Junior School

Hi Rich
It was another fabulous event at the Cavern. The impact on the young musicians and performers from Solihull, whether they are primary, secondary or SMS students will be evident when they continue to flourish in the months and years ahead. Let’s keep up that momentum!
They made their own memories yesterday and that is something special.

Well done to the whole SMS team.


Gail Attenborrow

Arts Secretary
Langley School, Solihull

Comments following the National Rock and Pop Festival July 2013

To: Solihull Music Service
Subject: Thank you

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the music service for their enthusiasm and commitment. My son, Lewis Miller is leaving greswold primary school on Wednesday and will start at lode heath in September. Lewis has been having lessons weekly since year four from mr Thomas and took his grade two rock school exam on Friday. He goes to guitaristas every Tuesday and mr webbs guitar group on Saturday mornings. He began drum lessons in year six with mr collier and plays in the steel pan group on Saturday mornings. Lewis plays with the greswold band and we are so proud of him. Mr jones’ dedication to the group and encouragement has been brilliant. To perform at the cavern club and the o2 academy has been an amazing experience for lewis and we have enjoyed supporting him and watching him.
Thank you to all of the teachers mentioned. Lewis really has a passion for music and he is looking forward to private lessons in September with mr Thomas. He is looking forward to smc, maybe joining a band and the challenges of new experiences on offer.
The music service is fantastic and I don’t know what we would do without it! You all do an amazing job.
Thank you and enjoy the break
Diane Mobley (mum)
Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

To: Solihull Music Service
Subject: Rock and pop

Rock and pop – Monday 15th July, just wanted to say what a fantastic evening we had on Monday at the O2, it was a brilliant venue for these budding rock stars and I really appreciate the time and effort the staff put in. Great night, thanks.

To: Tim Low
Subject: O2 at the weekend

Hi Tim
Just quickly, as I was engrossed in conversation when you walked past this morning, I wanted to say that I heard the concerts at the O2 went brilliantly at the weekend – I’ve seen a video of our Soul Band from Monday night and heard from my brother’s family whose boys were in three other concerts that it was great! You must be pleased…and ready for a rest I am sure!

To: Solihull Music Service
Subject: Rock and Pop Festival Sunday 14th July 12.30pm


I just wanted to drop you an e-mail to say how enjoyable the concert was on Sunday afternoon. It was great to see so many different groups from Solihull playing and see all the hard work that both the groups and the teachers have put in across the school year to make the concert a success. We had a great time!!!!

Many thanks,

Dear all,
Just to let you know St Peter’s Catholic School was highly represented at his year’s festival with 4 bands playing and the 30 strong Rock & Pop orchestra over the 4 nights.
Our pupils were are credit to themselves, families and the school. Their growing professionalism on stage was a joy for the 3 of us to share with the audience in a world class venue with professional technical lighting and sound! Dermott was back stage and loving it!! Last night was a particular hit with Rock Paper Scissors performing – we are a little hoarse& tired this am!

The organisation from Richard Jones and his team was again outstanding! We are so privileged to have our close working relationship with the Solihull Music Service to allow our students to participate in event like this!

With all the cuts to the Arts and continual bad press for teenagers, events like this manage to keep the faith and drive us forward! For me- I may diversify into the world of security having spent 4 evenings with security men on the door! 

The programme is in the staffroom of you would like a look. I will get some of the students to write a review for the Autumn newsletter.

Hi Guys,
Just to say that we had a great time on Saturday coming down to support the Höenn boys at your very well organised gig.

I’m actually in the entertainment and event industry myself – I’m producing the Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies next year in Glasgow! – So, as you can imagine, I normally have to engage a certain level of “professional understanding” when I experience smaller gigs with more challenging budgets!

I think I should say though, in this case, I was very impressed indeed.

Your sound crew especially were superb – and I can’t remember seeing band turn arounds that fast and professional at any other show I’ve witnessed – and I directed Party in Park in Hyde Park for 7 years!

The camera work was great, unobtrusive and the vision mixing was totally fit for purpose. The live delay was annoying and must have been frustrating for you and the crew – but I know it’s expensive to fix! I shall be purchasing the DVD for sure.

Lighting was again just fine for what you were doing – and I can only hope that you have been able to make your money back on the venture – since the positive experience for the artists and audience alike is pretty much immeasurable in terms of our enjoyment and the memories we have! Do pass on my thanks and regards to your whole production team – a job well done!

I was a little “Höenn orientated” in terms of my photos on the night, and I was a little restricted at times – but the images I got of them can be found here – and also here are some other shots I kept in case they are useful (use the password o2) – I didn’t get a chance to meet these other artists as I had to leave after the boys had performed so sadly missed other acts – but do feel free to share these shots if you are permitted to do so. I require no credit for them! Since I didn’t know the other acts, I’m using this password on their gallery for data / child protection etc.

Thanks again and see you next year!

Spike Allibone
Managing Director
Night Train Productions Ltd.

Hi Richard,

What a year indeed! I thought Sunday was fabulous – the children are so lucky to have the opportunity to play at such an impressive venue – thank you.

I would also like to let you know how successful the free cello lessons were – as you saw at our proms a group played as part of the concert even though they had only had a few lessons. We have a group continuing to learn next year. Please congratulate Mrs Calverley.

We have 18 new starters for lessons next year, as well as children who are learning through Saturday Music Centre, and I think the regular performances by Rock band have contributed to this increased demand.

We’ve had such a lovely year we’ve decided to renew our Artsmark and have started to complete the application form – here’s hoping.

Looking forward to next year!

Have a fantastic summer.

Karen O’Keefe

To: Solihull Music Service
Subject: Rock & Pop Festival DVD

Yesterday I attended the AMAZING Rock & Pop Festival at lunchtime – we were overwhelmed with how great everyone involved was – the talent, confidence and atmosphere were extremely impressive.

We picked up a DVD form as we left, not realising that it was the intention to collect payments at the door.

Is it possible to order a copy of yesterday lunchtimes convert DVD – our daughter would truly appreciate it as a momento of such a wonderful occasion – I’ve attached the completed form and would appreciate confirmation that this is acceptable – if so, I’ll post a cheque to you first class today with a copy of the form.

Congratulations for a great job to all involved!!!!!!

Kind regards,

Jane Martin
Office Manager
Our Lady of Compassion Catholic Primary School

Subject: O2

Hi Tim
great to catch up today – albeit very briefly. Yet another email I’m afraid to say a massive thank you & well done to the music staff. The children have experienced such an amazing venue for music making & performing. I know the audience loved the event.
Just reflecting on my wider roles (eg Ofsted work) I do not of any other region that not only offers such amazing opportunities but a music service that goes out of its way to find, develop & showcase talent. Some of the musicians today have stunning futures if they choose to explore such avenues.
Cheers Tim & when the holiday eventually comes make sure you & your wonderful colleagues enjoy a cool glass & relax.

To: Solihull Music Service
Subject: Rock and pop

Rock and pop – Monday 15th July, just wanted to say what a fantastic evening we had on Monday at the O2, it was a brilliant venue for these budding rock stars and I really appreciate the time and effort the staff put in. Great night, thanks.

Hey Richard just wanted to say thanks for the years of helping me with my music. I have really enjoyed the time i have been at SMS and will miss it. So thank you so much for putting up with us as a band a supporting us. Im going to keep in touch with Chris and Harry and they have said that they are going to come to the studio if they get a new bass player, which i look forward too.
Also if you could help me with something. At the 02 concert on the Saturday night there was a band with a female singer, and female guitarist and on there last song the drummer played a cajon, i spoke to them on the night about coming to the studio but i didn’t get there name or contact because they had to go somewhere but if you have there name or an email address it would be a great help.

Thanks allot
James Lineker

After we had finished the concert at the cavern in 2013, these was some feedback from our schools.
The Cavern March 2013 comments from schools