21 February 2023
There’s no end to talent at the College and the students at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone’s Rock School show us just that. From being picked up by record producers who have worked with names like Tom Odell, James Arthur and Oasis, to playing on BBC Wales introducing and even being scouted by a Welsh record label!
The Rock School is a programme aimed to push the music students’ song writing along with getting them out into the wider community. It works alongside their main music course, developing on their composition and live performance units.
But it’s not just the students who are talented, the whole team is made from staff who have impressive credentials:
Music lecturer, Daniel, has worked with Bonnie Tyler, Rob Brydon and Ruth Jones, to name drop a few. He’s also helped out in the West End and is an expert in helping our budding rockstars keep their egos in check.
Holly, a fellow lecturer and A Level lead for Music uses her experience to run the classical side. She’s amazing on the visuals and promotion, giving the students opportunities outside of the College, such as getting them out and gigging!
New to the team, Tommy is a former student of ICMP (Music University & Performance School in London) and a former Coleg Gwent learner who did his PGCE here! He’s a very good songwriter, from a music technology background who helps with the production side of music.
Support worker, Alan has become a very well-known name in the department. Amazing support with writing and advice, he’s both practical and supportive. If there’s a gig the students are putting on, you can bet that Alan will be there.
Together our staff and students have achieved amazing things. During lockdown they made a CD and later went on to perform gigs to promote it when restrictions lifted. In December, they put on a Christmas show where over 100 people attended, many of whom were industry experts and one of the bands will even be performing in the Skills Competition Wales finals.
“We really want to see them develop and expand as artists. Seeing them go out, do well and achieve is really rewarding. There’s a few gigs and tours coming up in the future so keep an eye out – your support is always welcomed!” – Daniel Richards
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