Tom Sykes, with the blessing of Dave's family, took the initiative to set up a trust fund. There is an annual event featuring 'The Dave Joseph Award' for the most promising music student(s) at Liverpool Community College.

Tom Sykes
Paul Taft
Tricia Liedl
Silvia D'Emilio
David Fishel

Paul McGarry, guitar

Paul joined Liverpool Community College 3 years ago on the National Award course, as a rock guitarist who was looking to broaden his ability and knowledge of other styles, jazz in particular. Considering that Paul was a complete jazz novice, he has made remarkable progress in his understanding of music theory and in his jazz playing and improvisation skills. It is for his hard work and dedicated study that he was chosen for this honour, and it is particularly appropriate for Paul to be the first recipient of the Dave Joseph Award: on his many visits to the college that Dave made after he officially retired, he would need little persuasion to sit in with the students in their practical sessions, and one of those students was Paul!

Jess Wess Band

Jess Wess (voice); Adam Scovell and Dom Connor (guitar); Aaron Schofield (bass); Alex Randles (drums); Nick Branton (guest saxophonist).

Jess is a very promising singer/songwriter who enjoys performing her own material but is versatile enough to sing a range of styles, including jazz and soul. Her talented colleagues have been her fellow students on the National Diploma in Music at LCC, and we are very proud of the fact that they have all been accepted on music degree courses at local institutions and in London. Nick has been studying on the HNC in Music at LCC and was invited to join the band on the strength of his jazz playing, which has rapidly progressed consideringn that he only started playing the sax quite recently. Nick will continue to work on has sax playing and hopes to secure a place on a jazz degree course in the future.

Tomas Petrauskas, piano and Armundas Jonaitis, saxophone

Armundas Jonaitis is a saxophonist from Lithuania. He has been living here for two years studying on the National 

Diploma in Music and is enjoying being a student in Liverpool very much, studying pop, rock and jazz. In Lithuani a music education is based on classical music and Armundas wanted to try something new, and chose to study in England. The inspiration for his saxophone career came from his father who is an eminent sax player and jazz musician in Lithuania. He gave Armundas his first sax and said “you are going to be a professional sax player and you will became one of the best”. Armundas immediately took to the instrument and continued the family tradition. He has now been playing sax and developing his improvising skills for around ten years in orchestras, big bands, and pop groups, and has played in cafes, bars and other events, and has also won a few competitions. Now he is playing jazz, blues, and funky styles of music, playing with his own band. In the future Armundas would like to become a professional session musician and to gain the necessary skills so that he can make a successful career in music, performing, writing, composing for films, recording, promoting and selling his own music.

Tomas Petrauskas is also from Lithuania, where he and Armundas met and became friends before coming to Liverpool, and has also been studying on the National Diploma in Music at Liverpool Community College. He started playing the piano at the age of ten, and also tried the drums and guitar for two years. He started studying music seriously at the Šiauliai Conservatoire in 2007, and after two years there he decided with Armundas to continue his education in Liverpool because of the different learning system. Tomas has since gained experience of working in a band with like-minded young musicians at the Community College.

Jack Beattie, guitar

You could say that I started learning music as an alternative to learning a language! This was the choice I had to make when I was 12 as my father informed me that I had to learn to play an instrument or learn a language. No contest!!!

By the age of 12 I had met Dan who began to teach me guitar basics and we are still great friends today. At first, I wanted to give up as my fingers hurt and it was frustrating but with Dan’s encouragement I began to learn and enjoy playing guitar.

My grandfather used to ask did I sleep with my guitar as it was never out of my hands!!!

By the age of 14 I began to take lessons from Nick Crouch, a guitarist with the Mojo’s, a 60’s Mersey beat band, where I gained experience and gave me a great interest in blues and jazz. He also encouraged me to apply to Liverpool Community College to develop my understanding further as he knew and respected many of the Tutors working at the College.

During the years from 14 to 17, I played in my church worship team, youth band and formed a small band to play at functions. It was also during this time I passed Grade 5 guitar with the Registry of Guitar Tutors. All these things added together enabled me to make an informed decision about what I wanted to achieve for my future.

I started at Liverpool Community College in September 2010 and straight away I knew I had made the right decision. I was accepted, encouraged, taught many new skills and all the staff and tutors were committed to their students. During these 2 years I have been involved in gig performances, playing for a College musical, singing in a choir and being part of the College Big Band where I was able to expand my repertoire of Jazz greatly. 

My musical influences started with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, whose guitarist had been heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix and I began to listen to his music along with Cream and various rock music from that period. As I listened to this genre I was playing rock/pop styled music in the church band, which developed my acoustic guitar playing along with the electric guitar style. I then began to listen to Blues artists who had influenced Jimi Hendrix, and modern blues players such as; Robben Ford, and particularly John Mayer who plays blues along with acoustic based music. I was also encouraged to listen to the great James Taylor. In the Jazz world I listen to Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, John Coltrane along with Count Basie, Duke Ellington and many Jazz singers such as Herb Albert, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. I would also like to give a mention to Frank Gambale and Tommy Emmanuel as well. 

All of these influences came in the main from friends, teachers and tutors who I have met and respected along this music path.

Whilst being at Liverpool Community College I met Paul Taft at my audition and he became my course tutor for my first year. I thank him for all his patience, tolerance and encouragement he showed me during my two years and this also goes to his wife, Anne, who gave her time and expertise to improve my musical knowledge and ability in the art of singing. They have not only accepted me as their student but also like a family member so I have a great respect and debt to both of them and know they have both enabled me to reach my true potential. 

I would also like to express my personal thanks to Les Bolger who not only taught me ‘How It’s Done!!’ but he introduced me to someone else who knows so much more than I could imagine; John Harper, who I’m sure I will be learning from for many years to come.

I was asked to list my interests and these are all listed above. Music is my main interest, although my faith and church life is encompassed into my approach to music and all that is associated with it whether it be Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Rock, Funk, Pop, Soul or Country. Music is my main focus, although I do make time for the odd game of chess, swimming and being with friends or watching a good movie. I see Music as a way of life and I want to explore it much more in the years to come.