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Catching up on the Fortunes of some of my past & Present Students

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Follow the news of one present and one past pupil as they make their mark in the world of music.

Mateo graduates form The School of Rock!

Congratulations to current student Mateo (top) and past student Jack Butler as they continue to make their mark in the music world. 14 yr Mateo is a pupil at Y Pant Comprehensive School and last year played the guitar playing ‘Dewey’ in a fantastic school production of ‘School of Rock’. The school is very proactive on drama and music with credit going to the teachers and pupils who performed such an impressive and professional stage production.

"School of Rock" is a musical comedy about Dewey Finn, a struggling musician who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious private school. Uninterested in traditional education, Dewey forms a rock band with his talented but initially suspicious and reserved students. Through their shared love of music, Dewey helps the students discover their hidden talents and encourages them to express themselves creatively. Together, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, friendship, and teamwork as they prepare to compete in a high-profile Battle of the Bands competition.

The storyline emphasizes the transformative power of music and celebrates the importance of embracing your passions and individuality. Something Mateo identifies with this entirely as he took hold of the role with the maturity of a seasoned professional, playing and acting on stage for the majority of the show. As if his parents were not proud enough, Mateo was joined on stage by his twin sister Gwen as part of the cast.

Mixing it with the Pros at the New Theatre, Cardiff

Not content with their early steps into musical theatre, both Mateo and Gwen successfully landed parts in The Orb Theatre’s staging of the same musical at the renowned New Theatre, Cardiff. This time, Mateo was to play the part of ‘Zac Kwan’, a role with more demanding guitar parts in the surroundings of the historic New Theatre which was built in 1906. The show ran twice a day for nine performances during early June 2023 and Mateo was again, wowing audiences with his terrific acting and guitar-playing talents.

Mateo has been taking guitar lessons since he was 10 and has his eyes firmly set on a career in music production and recording. With an ever-expanding performance CV, he is destined to follow his dreams under no illusions of what he needs to do to get there.

It's The Principality Stadium for Jack Butler!

If Mateo is the future of music, then Jack Butler is very much the present. He had also been a pupil of mine starting at age 10, stating at the time, that his ambition was to take part in his primary school Eisteddfod – which he duly won with a performance of ‘Blues for You’ by Gary Moore. That was just over 20 years ago with his subsequent musical journey taking him on to a career as a session guitarist in the Cardiff area. He has worked hard to make a successful career performing, teaching, writing and recording - even finding time to recently attain a PGCE teaching qualification.

Jack was the epitome of someone who knew what they wanted and what was needed to get it. He studied to Grade 8 in electric guitar and then a degree in music and technology. He has toured many countries and June saw him playing with Hana Lili supporting ‘Coldplay’ at the Principality Stadium. Both these guys are living proof that you can live your dreams, if you are willing to put the work in. As a coincidence, Jack has been teaching Mateo as part of his peripatetic teaching commitments in school - how mad is that?

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