Achievements with John Cleveland College

JCC Orchestra has forged a national reputation, having reached the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth in 1996,1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, playing at the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Royal Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

In addition the Orchestra were undefeated Oundle Festival Champions between 1993 and 2000 and again between 2002 and 2009, Peterborough Festival Champions 2001 and Leicester Festival Champions 1994.


Further successes for the Orchestra include being invited to perform in the Leicestershire Arts in Education summer festivals of 2002 and 2004 (the only individual college to be given this honour. Other prestigious venues at which the Orchestra has had the privilege of performing include their appearances at Belvoir Castle in 2001 and 2002 upon the invitation of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland to take part in a short series of ‘Youth in Excellence’ concerts.

September 2003 JCC Music Department released its second CD recording featuring both the Orchestra and the College Big Band.

In the 2006 Final of the National Festival of Music for Youth JCC Orchestra was given the outstanding performance award effectively making them National Champions of Great Britain. In 2007 JCC students became the first unsubsidised state school orchestra ever to retain the title and, as a result, was given the ultimate honour of performing the Finale of the 2007 School Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, a performance which was described as being ‘truly remarkable’ and ‘absolutely outstanding’ by presenters Howard Goodall and Richard Stilgoe.

Further to the Albert Hall success the Orchestra was invited to front the Primary Proms at the Birmingham Symphony Hall in 2008 before a packed audience of 4000 primary school children and staff. Also in 2008 JCC Orchestra was the only individual school invited to play alongside various county groups at the Bedworth Civic Hall as part of the Leicestershire Arts in Education Diamond Anniversary celebrations. Later that year the Orchestra performed at the Walkers Stadium Leicester (LCFC) at a prestigious Rotary black tie dinner for 800 guests.

In 2010 the Orchestra were once again crowned National Champions at the NFMY Finals in the Birmingham Symphony Hall.

From 2002 to 2013 the Orchestra has been engaged annually to play a Last Night of the Proms open air concert in front of audiences of 1500 (these include the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee celebrations).

Big Band

The JCC Big Band (JCC Jazz) has a truly outstanding record and reputation. Between 1996 and 2009 the Band have been Oundle Festival Champions on ten occasions and participants in the Jazz finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth at both the Royal Festival Hall and the Birmingham Conservatoire seven times as well as having toured extensively in Europe over a number of years. This includes being invited to the prestigious Herford Jazz Festival (Germany) in 1999 where they performed alongside professional bands from Scandanavia, the USA and Canada. Other successful tours include visits to Paris in 2003 (which included performing at Euro Disney along with the College Barbershop Quartet) and Holland/Belgium in 2005 along with the College Wind Quintet, Clarinet Choir, Flute Choir and Barbershop Quartet. In 2008 the Band visited Nordwijk in Holland and most recently in 2011 they visited Germany where they gave concerts in the Rhineland area again along with Clarinet Choir, Flute Choir and Barbershop Quartet.


JCC Jazz also regularly provides lunch time concerts most notably at the Richard Attenborough Centre, Leicester University where in 2002 and 2003 they took part in a ‘Time for Jazz Project’ where students worked alongside Richard Fairhurst, one of Europe’s top young jazz pianists.

From 2005 to 2008 JCC students worked very successfully with Nick Wheldon (tutor at the Royal Academy of Music) upon jazz improvisation for gifted and talented musicians.

JCC Jazz continues to play at varied engagements including Mayoral/Civic occasions, weddings, 40s theme nights, black tie charity dinner dances and LEA events/Community Arts Festivals.


JCC Choir won both the Oundle and Hinckley festivals every year between 2003 – 2007 singing a varied repertoire from classical works, through madrigals, musicals and show songs to 70’s pop. The Choir was part of 250 strong Leicestershire Choir that performed the Verdi Requiem with the LSSO and professional soloists in 2002 and similarly performed Carmina Burana and gave the world premiere of Andrew Carter’s composition ‘Healthy Eating’ in 2004.


In 2005 the Choir sang ‘Vivaldi’s Gloria’ as part of the ‘Leicestershire Finds a Voice’ project which was made into a CD recording and, furthermore, in 2006 the Choir performed ‘The Armed Man’ by Philip Jenkins again in a massed choir at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. In 2008 the Choir’s performance of Andrew Carter’s ‘Benedicte’ and Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ was accompanied (once again) by the LSS0 which itself contained a large number of JCC students, several of whom who were in principal positions.

25 Years of Experience
gary-pic.jpgFormer Director of music at John Cleveland College, Hinckley with a 100% pass rate at A Level over that time.
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Big Band and Orchestra
1. Yardbird Suite
    ~ played by JCC Big Band
2. A Night in Tunisia
    ~ played by JCC Big Band
3. Berceuse & Finale (Firebird Suite)
    ~ played by JCC Orchestra