AUBREY Powell, designer of iconic album covers and images for legendary bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Who, returned to King’s Ely yesterday (24) to talk about his work in the music and film industry.

The former King’s Ely pupil, known locally as Po, was “blown away” by the facilities built here since he was at school, particularly the new state-of-the-art music school, drama facilities and art complex.

Over 50 members of the public, including rock fans, parents and the Mayor of Ely, joined a theatre of Senior students for the event, helping to raise over £200 for Teenage Cancer Trust and East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH).

After Po’s talk on his exciting career working with many popular rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, he announced the winners of the school’s album cover design competition. Despite intending to pick one overall winner, he was so impressed with students’ work that he decided on three: Jessica Sharp, Molly Edwards and Matt Ley, who all received a signed copy of Po’s book, For the Love of Vinyl.

“Po was extremely enthusiastic about the quality of work produced and how the original images have been manipulated using Photoshop to create in depth research and development of the concepts explored,” said Senior Art Director, Alison Rhodes.

“He felt that the whole department was extremely high quality and that the students were aiming high throughout the specialist areas.”

The guests were also treated to an unplugged rock concert, which featured performances by some of King’s Ely’s most talented young musicians, with music by artists such as Adele, Passenger and Green Day. Robert Rosenberg, who co-manages The Who and is a parent at the school, was also spectating the talent on show.

Director of Performance Studies, Adella Charlton, commented: “Both Po and Robert were very interested in all of the performers, but selected students Molly Armstrong and Charlie O’Connor in particular for their strong and secure vocals.

“All the performers were given a prize of a The Who t-shirt and Molly and Charlie will be guests at The Who’s concert in Wembley shortly after the end of term.”

“I was truly impressed with the display of the creative drive that these children possess, and all who took part deserve a commendation for their skills,” said Po.

“The reservoir of talent – especially from pupils such as Matt Ley – both visually and musically – was outstanding, and Art Director Alison Rhodes was a refreshing spirit in the job of mentoring the talented children.”

The event was co-organised by Sixth Form student Will Oliver, who has just been offered an unconditional place to read Musical Theatre at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. Will’s work on the event will help him to achieve the Gold Arts Award certificate – the accreditation designed to help students extend their skills and gain experience of working in the arts sector before continuing their studies.

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