Giving heart and soul for the school

Soul Academy played a 36-song set on Saturday night
Soul Academy played a 36-song set on Saturday night

Banchory Academy’s Soul Academy went down a storm in a Saturday night fundraiser.

The band delivered a two-and-a-half hour set at the weekend which raised just under £2000 for new stage lights for the drama department.

The band played for 2.5 hours

The band played for 2.5 hours

More than 100 adults were entertained in the Scout Hut in an event organised by the school’s parent council and PTA.

Parent Council chair Megan Hare said: “We had a great night.

“Soul Academy played for two-and-a-half hours with songs that got a lot of people on the dance floor.

“Pretty noteworthy for a school band.

“The Parent Council and PTA did a great job getting the Scout Hut decorated to get people in the party mood.

“The event raised £1983.”

Established in the late 1990s by then music teacher, Dougie Trueman, Soul Academy made a name for itself delivering slick performances of music from The Commitments.

With its repertoire now expanded to an inspiring range of soul music and more contemporary songs, the group is hired to play at private functions and charitable causes, as well as at Aberdeen music venue The Tunnels.

Since 2012 it has been under the energetic leadership of music teacher, Andy Bruce, and bass guitar player and geography teacher, Billy Bilsland,

The quality of the band’s work is particularly recognised because of the young age of its members, and the year-on-year changes as new S1 members join and S6 members leave.

Andy said: “The experience of performing in a band like Soul Academy gives a wonderful opportunity to gain confidence and develop creativity.

“Band members learn teamwork, and as they progress through their years at school, they take on a mentoring role for the new, younger members.”

For some pupils, the experience of being in Soul Academy has inspired them to follow careers in music.