Eskdale School jazz band hits the right note at markets

The Blue Monkeys perform at the Christmas market in Whitby.
The Blue Monkeys perform at the Christmas market in Whitby.

A 15-year-old pupil from Eskdale School directed his young jazz group at Whitby Christmas Market – the result of a year of hard work.

The Blue Monkeys performed a mixture of jazz standards, all arranged by Zak Parlby, a pupil in year 10.

Music teachers Miss Brogan and Mrs Smith watched with pride as the group performed to a large audience.

Zak is passionate about jazz and asked Miss Brogan if he could rehearse at lunchtimes to put together his jazz band. This was one year ago so it was a delight to see the result of his hard work come to fruition.

The quality of his arrangements is high, as is the musicianship of his young players. The players are Zak on tenor saxophone / band leader, Luca Bloor, 12, on alto saxophone, Toby Welford, 12, trombone, Zoe Parlby, 12, keyboard, George Waller, 14, drums and Cameron Bedford, 14, bass.

The set was a mixture of Jazz classics that have been carefully arranged by Zak.

Miss Brogan said: “It’s a complete joy to listen to them rehearse on Thursday lunch-times.

“Other teachers come up to the music room to listen to them as the sound they produce is so amazing.”

Zak leads each player through their parts with real professionalism and encourages them all to take solo parts.

The audience cheered for an encore after a brilliant set.

Ms Parlby, Drama teacher and Head of Creative Arts at Eskdale, looked on with pride as her son and daughter were both performing on the stage.