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Rock stars for a day at legendary recording studios

February 4th, 2019

A group of schoolchildren in Monmouth have followed in the footsteps of some of the country’s best-known rock bands.

The Year 4 pupils at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep recorded a song, Oro My Little Boat (The Clancy Sisters), and had a fascinating insight into the history and workings of Rockfield Studios on Wednesday 30th January.

Queen, Oasis, Kasabian, Black Sabbath, The Charlatans and The Stone Roses are just some of the legendary groups who have recorded at the iconic venue on the outskirts of Monmouth.

The boys had an opportunity to sit at the piano once graced by the late Freddie Mercury and ask questions to Lisa Ward, a former pupil at Monmouth School for Girls, who manages the studio.

The pupils are learning about sound in their science lessons and enjoyed watching in-house sound engineer, Joe Jones, work the echo chamber and the mixing desk, which has been in place since 1977.

Nine-year-old pianist Huw said: “This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for us to record a song at Rockfield Studios.

“I never thought I would ever get to see – or touch – the piano which Freddie Mercury used during his time in Monmouth. It was incredible.

“I am a huge fan of Freddie Mercury and Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody, which was recorded at Rockfield, is my favourite song.”

Eight-year-old Archie said: “This was the best school trip ever and nothing is going to get close to it. I know we will all look back at this day in 20 years’ time and remember it well.”

Dr Sion Wall, Science teacher and Co-ordinator, said: “The science trip helped the boys to understand the science of sound and the relationship of science to music in a very hands on manner.

“The boys saw how different surfaces affected sound, visualised sound recordings as a wave, and looked inside different types of keyboard to see the different technologies which allow them to produce sound.

“The boys spent most of the day inside the studio where Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody and some boys got to play the grand piano used by Freddie Mercury, Joe Strummer and Chris Martin to record.”

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