A GROUP of talented musicians ended 2013 with a crescendo after being awarded a school’s highest honour.

The band of students at Carmel College, Darlington, became the first group to be awarded the coveted John Caden Cup.

Normally given to a single student, the award recognises contributions which make a difference and enrich life at the college.

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Principal and Carmel Education Trust chief executive officer Maura Regan said it was a privilege to hand the award to the group.

She added: “This group of musicians have made such a difference and had such an impact on the college that, for the first time, I had to award it jointly to them all.”

Head boy Tom Jackson, who was among the group called Carmel Pit Band, said: “We feel incredibly privileged to collect this award, particularly when all the students here at Carmel contribute so much to make the college outstanding.”

The award was the culmination of a night of accolades in which last year’s Year 11 and 13 students were rewarded for their endeavours.

Guest of honour Maria Matthews, a former headteacher and current director of the Carmel Educational Trust, presented the awards and visitors were also treated to an evening of readings and musical performances.