• Rock, Pop & Urban Sessions – Reigate and Redhill Music and Drama Festival 2024
  • Entries open 01/01/2024 and close 22/03/2024
  • Saturday May 11th, Rispoli Theatre, Reigate College

Reigate & Redhill Music and Drama Festival has teamed up with Reigate College to support young musicians, aged 10 to 19, who want to develop their performance skills in Rock, Pop or Urban Music.

The College’s Head of Music John Evans, will be joined by two industry professionals, and offer feedback and advice to help performers develop their stagecraft and confidence. Musicians will also have the opportunity to watch and learn from other performers who are playing in the same session. Shortlisted performers will be invited to play at other prestigious music events, should this be of interest to them.

Two sessions have been arranged for younger and older musicians.
Final timings as follows:

  • Junior Session for 10-14 year olds, 10am to 12.15pm
  • Senior Session for 15-19 year olds, 2pm to 4pm

As well as receiving Mentor feedback, participating students are invited to take part in a Q&A session from 12.45 – 1.45pm, with Andy Knox, Director of Commercial and Streaming @EMI Records (Universal Music Group). Please book separate tickets for the Q&A to help us manage seating. The Q & A will take place in the first floor of the Independent Learning Centre.

The Performance sessions for Juniors and Seniors will take place in the Rispoli Theatre at Reigate College, where a full back line of equipment will be provided, to enable performers to bring their own instruments, (drummers should bring breakables) then plug in and play two songs, or fill a maximum of a 10 minute slot (less if preferred).

We are inviting entries from 10-19 year olds who are soloists or in a band of up to six players. Soloists may use backing tracks if they wish and any genre of modern music is welcome, whether originals or covers.

There is limited capacity in the College’s Rispoli Theatre, so we urge you to apply quickly as entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

All visitors should access the Rispoli Theatre and Independent Learning Centre, via the Rushworth Road entrance NOT the Castlefield Road entrance (the latter will be closed). Drivers should park in the College’s Rushworth Road car park. Post code for sat nav users RH2 0QF

Tickets for friends and family to watch the session are available via the College website (see links below).

The entry fee per performer is £5. For example bands of 4 people would pay £20. One band member should register and pay for the whole band – so that it’s clear to the organisers which performers will be playing with which band. Please register on the Play and Perform website.

Spectators’ tickets are priced at £10 per adult and £4 for U18s. Ticketing will close on Wednesday 8 May at 5pm. Buy tickets for each session using the links below:

10-14 year olds, 10-12.15pm | 15-19 year olds, 2-4pm

  • There will be 2 sessions, one for those aged 10 to 14 and one for those aged 15 to 19.
  • Entrants will be allotted a 10 minute slot in the session.
  • A full backline will be provided and full technical support will be on hand for set up.
  • Performers should bring their own instruments. Drummers should bring breakables. All other equipment will be provided by College including microphones, amplifiers etc.
  • If PAT testing or any other safety testing of performer’s equipment is required, entrants will be contacted ahead of the sessions.
  • There will be no rehearsal time in the programme so entrants should complete any rehearsals before attending the sessions.
  • Performers are responsible for the care of their own instruments (and related equipment). Reigate College and RRMDF do not accept any liability for performers’ equipment or belongings.
  • An area will be allocated to performers at the front of the specators’ seating area, where participants should sit with their instruments.
  • All participants are expected to attend the whole 2 hour event, NOT just their session, out of courtesy to the other performers.
  • No drinking (other than water) or eating in the Rispoli Theatre or Independent Learning Centre. Participants and spectators wishing to eat while on site, can do so in the outside, covered eating areas.

John Evans – Head of Music, Reigate College

For over 25 years I have been a successful and active guitarist, songwriter, teacher, composer, and arranger having had the opportunity to play on many of the world’s most prestigious stages including London’s Royal Albert Hall, Barbican and Palladium as well as UK festivals, including Glastonbury, V Festival, T in the Park and Oxygen.

My playing and writing career have also allowed me to tour extensively across Europe and North America, record at world-renowned studios as a member of The Divine Comedy and as a session player for Ray Davies, Tom Chaplin, Liam Bailey, Chris Difford, Marti Pellow, Luke Haines as well as with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I have played in many of the West End’s theatres on shows including Jersey Boys, Billy Elliott, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Dirty Dancing.

My compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Ulster Orchestra and heard on BBC, Channel 4 and Netflix. Throughout my career I have always taught, working either as an instrumental tutor in group and individual settings, or in the classroom, teaching music at Key Stages 3, 4, & 5.

I started as Head of Music at Reigate College in September 2023 and I look forward to drawing upon my experience facilitating the development of young bands and contemporary musicians in academic and practical settings to showcase the talent of the young musicians of the local area.

Ben Clark – former student, Reigate College

Benjamin Clark is a dynamic professional musician carving his niche as a Guitarist and Musical Director across a spectrum of genres. From Musical Theatre to Contemporary Pop Orchestral, lively Festival performances, and the vibrant world of Electronic Music, Ben has had the great fortune to have experience in a wide selection of contexts.

Benjamin is more than a performer—he seamlessly shifts between roles as a Session Musician and Musical Director, leaving his mark on each project. His musical journey extends beyond live performances, delving into recording as a solo artist and collaborative projects that showcase his authentic sound.

Noteworthy in his portfolio, Ben has lent his skills as the Guitarist for the UK Tour of ‘Just My Imagination,’ acted as Consulting Musical Director for the Smiley Charity Film Awards, contributed arrangements and guitar work to Imagine Pantomimes, and directed the music broadcast for the ‘Univision Song Contest.’ Additionally, he has shared the stage with Mark Lettieri (Snarky Puppy) during a memorable Leeds UK tour date.

Beyond the spotlight, Ben wears the hat of co-director at CNS Productions, a production company reflecting his commitment to pushing creative boundaries. As an educator, he shares his musical insights, contributing to the growth of aspiring musicians.

In a world where music speaks a universal language, Benjamin Clark stands as a skilled architect, weaving his sonic tapestry with proficiency, passion, and an unwavering dedication to musical excellence.