SOPM's Review of 2018

⏱️ 5 Minute Read.

With the year drawing to a close, now’s the perfect time to reflect on the musical creativity that flourished during our best twelve months yet!

To do that, why don’t you grab yourself some mulled wine or a hot chocolate and sit down with us as we review some of 2018’s highlights.

The year began on a high as we continued to ride the wave of success that was 2017, it was the year of the GSY Band-Aid single where we quadrupled our fundraising goal to over £4,000 for charity. More than one hundred students passed their exams with Trinity Rock and Pop and a further fifty students nailed their grades with the Registry of Guitar Tutors. All major milestones that were going to take some doing if we’re to outshine them… we’re pleased to report that we did exactly that! 👍

Passed Exams
Passed Grades

Starting the year with record-breaking results behind us helped boost the morale of students and tutors alike. No January blues here, everyone was psyched up to set and achieve their new musical goals for the year ahead. 📈

For many students that could be learning to play a new set of songs seamlessly or achieving the next level in their grades. For the SOPM team, it meant maintaining and better still, improving our standards by finding new ways to raise the bar furthermore.

Our new music production partner Apocalypse Studios opened its doors in February, the purpose-built studio is Guernsey’s newest space for audio and visual production. We wasted no time in taking advantage of the stunning new facilities and quickly got the SOPM tutors in to record a series of their favourite covers. One of the most popular of those covers came from a new member of the team, Sam Nichols, who was brought in to teach voice, piano and saxophone. Her cover of Dakota by The Stereophonics was a hit, you can watch her video below. 🎙️

You can watch all the covers recorded by our tutors on our YouTube channel.


Sam wasn’t the only new member to the team in 2018, around the same time, the very talented Daniel de Carteret also joined us to teach guitar. 🎸

This raised our roster to twelve tutors covering ten music disciplines, officially making SOPM the largest independent music school in the Channel Islands. 

We are enormously proud of all the events we were involved with, but one notable addition to the calendar this year was the ‘Arts Sunday’ event held on the town seafront during June. 🎨

We teamed up with Guernsey Mind and the Guernsey Arts Commission to launch ‘Express Yourself’. The campaign was created to promote the benefits of creativity for positive mental health.

The event was a resounding success, with over 10,000 people visiting the town front during the course of the day. The extensive layout and collaboration of forces amplified the message and provided an excellent platform for our students to perform to a massive audience.

The second notable event of ours this year was our ever-so-popular Summer School. Now in its fourth year, this favourite of the students was the biggest and best yet!

The group grew by a further 30% from 2017, a maximum attendance of 44 students formed nine brand new bands that took to the streets of Guernsey performing forty gigs across the island at various locations.

During the course of the week, we even managed to record a CD too! All the bands covered a track of their choosing in Apocalypse Studios creating the ultimate summer souvenir – our very own compilation CD! 💿

After a week of crammed practice and multiple mini gigs, each band was prepped for the big stage of the Fermain Tavern. Each band performed three of their finest songs to a hundred-strong crowd of friends, family and fellow musicians. The week came to a close following a wicked group trip to Herm, all-encompassing what is sure to be a set of memories many will cherish.

Read more from our blog: A Summer of Music

After the pleasure that was one of the greatest summers ever, we found ourselves to be the surprise recipients of various award nominations. The business went on to win the Bill Green Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit 2018. Four of our tutors Tyler, Casey, Lydia and Sam were all nominated in the ‘Arts Contribution of the Year’ category at the Pride of Guernsey awards, Sam went on to collect the accolade in October! 🏆

Read more from our blog: A Wonderful Milestone for Our Growing Business

While we don’t have space within this article to fit all of the events our team and students have been involved with this year, a final two worthy mentions must go out to our amazing Christmas gigs. 🎄

This year we hosted our 10th annual concert and 6th Doghouse gig (introduced In 2016) which saw more students than ever take to the stage to strut their stuff!

Over 120 of our students, aged from four to fifty performed over the course of two days. Just to put that into context for you, that’s five times bigger than our very first concert where just 20 students performed across just one hour!

That brings us to a close for 2018, next year is a big one for us as we celebrate our fifth birthday – we have lots of exciting things planned, more to follow on that very soon.

With that all said and done, from the whole team here at the School of Popular Music – thank you for your support in 2018, may you have a happy new year and we look forward to seeing you in 2019 for another a record-breaking year! 🎉