Team Mearns rock the AECC

The Mearns Academy team

The Mearns Academy team

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Saturday night was the pinnacle of months of hard work for the Mearns Academy Rock Challenge team.

Rock Challenge UK is a national tournament in which schools compete against each other to try and impress a panel of specialists from the performing arts industry.

The regional final for Aberdeenshire was held at the weekend, when a number of schools in the area competed in hope of moving on to the next round.

The winning team in the region would get to proceed to the Scottish Grand Final where they would battle it out with other schools who had won at a regional level to be crowned Rock Challenge UK Scottish winners.

Each school had to choreograph a dance and drama routine lasting five to eight minutes, and perform to a sell-out crowd as well as the judging panel.

Each routine had to have a theme or a message behind it; this year Mearns choreographed a routine that was based around the poor treatment of circus animals.

The team from Mearns Academy contained about 85 girls and boys from first year up to senior school.

It was an early start on Saturday for Team Mearns, with their coach departing for the AECC in Aberdeen just after nine o’ clock.

They had a day to mingle with other schools, as well as many much-needed hours to organise hair, make-up and costumes in an almost military-style fashion.

By the evening it was show time, and all participating schools did Aberdeenshire proud with a range of spectacular performances.

Mearns lost out on being placed, but neighbouring Mackie Academy did extremely well in achieving second place behind regional winners Fraserburgh Academy.

Despite this, Mearns did themselves very proud and even earned the “Performers’ Choice Award”, which was voted for by all participating pupils at the event, as well as six other awards.

Robyn Fowlie, a first year pupil who was taking part in her first Rock Challenge, told me: “Being part of Rock Challenge this year has really boosted my performance and confidence. The event has a good spirit and you can meet new friends.

“I enjoyed becoming a character and getting into the spirit of an animal.”

Melissa Montgomery, who is in fifth year and was one of the leaders of the Mearns team, said: “We were absolutely overwhelmed with how well we did this year, and of course we improved from last year which was obviously a bonus.

“To receive the performers’ choice was outstanding, and a huge achievement for Mearns Academy Rock Challenge.”

The Mearns team may have delivered their best performance yet, but their attention now turns to next year and how they can improve even more.