Bedales welcomed back former student and renowned singer songwriter Teddy Thompson to the school for a public performance in a packed Olivier Theatre to help raise funds for the John Badley Foundation (JBF), the school’s bursary scheme named after Bedales’ founder.
Bedales students supported Teddy with solo and group performances of songs they had composed. Prior to his performance, Teddy held a songwriting workshop for students to help and inspire them to develop their music. Teddy was impressed with the performances and attitude of students, who he described as “so poised and confident”.
Teddy’s career has consistently garnered critical praise. The New York Times called his work “beautifully finessed.” He is the son of British folk-rock legends Richard and Linda Thompson (of Fairport Convention) and first developed his own interest in folk-rock in his teens when he formed his own band. His original songs and live performances generated such acclaim that he was soon signed to Virgin Records. In 2008, Thompson released the upbeat and highly acclaimed, A Piece of What You Need, which was declared “one of this year’s best” by The Guardian and debuted at #9 in the UK’s pop charts.
The concert was organised by Bedales guitar teacher, Neil Hornsby, who has overseen the development of a number of Bedales students’ careers in the music industry, such as Leah Mason, Marika Hackman and Gabriel Bruce.
The evening raised £5,000 for the school’s John Badley Foundation, which is broadening access to Bedales by funding 100% boarding places for youngsters with the talent and potential to make a positive contribution to the community. There are currently three JBF beneficiaries at the Bedales prep and senior schools and further awards are planned for next year.
Commenting on the concert, Bedales Schools Headmaster, Keith Budge, said: “We are very grateful to Teddy Thompson for taking time out of a busy touring schedule to return to Bedales for the day. Through the workshop and concert, he has provided inspiration to our students and helped us to raise significant funds for the John Badley Foundation. I am sure our founder would have been very pleased to see the creative arts supporting an initiative to provide transformational opportunities for youngsters to benefit from a Bedales education”.