Burnley pupils team up with brass band for Hacienda inspired 'Light Night'

Ridgewood pupils
Ridgewood pupils

Burnley schoolchildren have been learning how to add a brass band twist to 90s club classics made famous at Manchester’s Hacienda nightclub, ahead of the town's mcuh anticipated 'Light Night'.

For the past two months, pupils from Ridgewood Community High School have been taking part in workshops led by members of Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, a New Orleans-inspired brass band known for taking over the streets with their unique take on 90s techo, acid house and dance classics.

Mr Wilson's Second Liners

Mr Wilson's Second Liners

The band, named after legendary Manchester figure Tony Wilson, recently moved their base to Burnley and have been booked to perform at Burnley Light Night for the second year in a row.

The band’s leader, Will Lenton, was keen to cement the group’s Burnley links and approached Ridgewood teacher, Chris Bridges, about recruiting some extra young musicians for the big Light Night Parade.

Mr Bridges said: “As a trombone player myself I was thrilled when Will suggested running some workshops at Ridgewood. Mr Wilson’s Second Liners performed for the whole school earlier this year and everyone absolutely loved it. The atmosphere was fantastic and the children were encouraged to join in.

“Will and the team have been coming into the school for a few weeks teaching pupils from years seven and eight some special musical parts ready for their big performance at the Burnley Light Night parade on Saturday.

"It’s been amazing to see how much students have enjoyed learning the music, playing their plastic trombones and getting into the party spirit. We’re all really looking forward to the event and hope to see the streets lined with people from Burnley and beyond for the big performance.”

Ridgewood Community High School provides a caring and safe learning environment for children and young adults with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities and these workshops are one of the many ways in which the school nurtures and recognises the unique talents and abilities of its students.

Will Lenton, band leader from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, said: “Burnley Light Night was one of our most memorable gigs last year and now that we have moved our base to St James' Street in Burnley town centre, this year’s event feels like a homecoming.

"Being able to link up with Ridgewood School and feel part of the Burnley community has been a privilege and we’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm and talent of pupils. Light Night sounds like it’s going to be even bigger and better this year and we can’t wait to take part in the parade.”

Free to attend, Light Night takes place on Saturday from 4-30pm at Burnley Central Library and this year’s theme is ‘Journey into the Night Sky’. There will be a host of illuminated stars, planets and meteorites on display, live music from Mr Wilson’s Second Liners and Suco Samba as well as some spectacular surprises.

The public were also encouraged to attend one of the pre-parade workshops at Burnley Central Library to create their own hand-made lanterns.

The workshops were just one of a host of ways in which the event has linked up with local community groups this year. Burnley Leisure has also run workshops with refugees from Syria and has been training up young people in stilt walking as part of the Active Streets initiative.