BUDDING musicians have hit the right notes in a battle of the bands and a battle against coronavirus.

Dunbar Grammar School was due to host its first ever Battle of the Bands event on Tuesday evening.

However, with the school closed and pupils and staff at home, musicians took to Twitter to demonstrate their musical talents.

Ben Totten, depute head boy at the secondary school, told the Courier that “music can work wonders” and felt the event had lifted the spirits in Dunbar.

He said: “It has been in the planning since just before December and was due to take place in the school hall.

“Last week at school, it all happened at once and I realised this was not going to be able to go ahead anymore.

“But, from there, we started re-planning and rescheduling for some time in August.

“[Headteacher Claire] Slowther had contacted me, probably on Sunday afternoon, and said about doing it online.

“I still want music to be around now with everybody still being stuck in the house.

“I saw a lot of celebrities doing online music videos and Mrs Slowther suggested this and I thought it sounded like a great idea and it took off from there.”

Bass player Ben, 17, had joined his band Never Now in a battle of the bands event in Nairn last autumn and decided he wanted to see something similar created at the East Lothian secondary school before he left this summer.

More than half a dozen students and members of staff took to social media to highlight their musical talent, with performances of tracks by artists ranging from Oasis to Bruno Mars and Adele to Nirvana.

A winner is yet to be declared but headteacher Mrs Slowther had her own Stars In Their Eyes moment and channelled her inner Whitney Houston.

Speaking this afternoon (Wednesday), Ben said the judging panel of himself and four members of staff at the school – Mr Stewart (music), Mr Ehsan (chemistry), Miss Kerr (drama) and Mr Maxton (depute headteacher) – would select a worthy winner.

Mrs Slowther described Ben, who came to the school in S4 having previously attended secondary school in Fife, as “a pillar of the music department”.

She said: “He has been involved in music, music tech, he co-leads the tech set-up for all concerts and performances, and even helps out with instrument repair.

“He wanted to establish an annual event which could be his legacy at Dunbar Grammar School.

“Ben set up Battle of the Bands and had been promoting it for months.

“In the last week of school, I discussed it with Ben and he said that he was so invested in the event, he will come back to Dunbar from university to make it happen.

“We emailed on Monday and agreed that, although it was a bit last minute, we would try and generate a bit of online interest to run it through Twitter on Tuesday night.

“I loved the performances last night; sharing video footage is a really brave thing to do and I was so impressed with the student and staff performances.

“The positive comments and praise from teachers was lovely!

“I am so impressed that the kind and caring spirit of Dunbar Grammar School is alive and well online.”