Well, it’s been a year since I started here as College Principal for BIMM Birmingham, and I really can’t believe how quickly that time has gone. It’s hard to imagine now that just a year ago there was no college building, no staff and no students!
One year on and our first cohort of Performers, Songwriters, Music Producers and Music Business students are starting the final term of their first year. They’re coming up to a potentially stressful exam period, but they have a great team of tutors and support staff looking after them, who have really been going the extra mile to ensure the students have everything they need.
When I look back on this first year, we’ve done so much! I spent the first six months before the college opened engaging with the local music scene to ensure our students had the most industry relevant experience possible. The people that I met in those first few days are still very much involved, and our network continues to grow every day. Our calibre of students is so good that people want to work with us, and this reputation will only develop further in the coming years.
The sheer number of high calibre guests we’ve had through the door tells me how keen the music industry is to engage with our students. We set the right tone with Tony Iommi cutting the ribbon in October. Tony is a great friend to BIMM Birmingham and regularly asks after James Atwood (the student who received his scholarship), who is currently performing with Hunger Moon.
Other guests we’ve had through the door this year have included Sid Wilson (Slipknot), Nuno Bettencourt (Guitarist: Extreme, Rihanna), Hannah V (Producer & Writer: JP Cooper, Stormzy, Rihanna, Jessie J), Lower Than Atlantis, Ralph Rolle (Drummer: Chic), Tom Longworth (Guitarist: Robbie Williams), JAWS, Craig Jennings (Raw Power Management), Sandy Beales & Jon Shone (Bass & MD: One Direction), Chris Johnson (Drummer: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Madonna), and many others who have delivered masterclasses, given tutorials and signed our wall of fame.
We’ve had two amazing End of Term student gigs so far this year, with the first held at The Sunflower Lounge in December. We filled the venue to capacity, so we had no choice but to book the larger venue of The Flapper for term 2. Again, it was a packed night with twelve BIMM Birmingham bands playing to fellow students, staff and music industry professionals who are naturally curious about the next generation of talent coming through BIMM.
Our next gig is booked at the Castle & Falcon on the 6th June, so please come along and hear what the super talented first years are up to.
So, that’s just the headlines of what our students have been up to so far this year, and there is so much more to come. Over the next few months we’ll be expanding our building to include a recording studio, filled to the rafters with professional industry standard equipment. We’ll also be preparing to welcome our first Level 3 Extended Diploma students and rolling out our BA (Hons) Music Journalism and BA (Hons) Event Management degree programmes.
I’m happy to say that it’s even more exciting now than it was twelve months ago, and I’m looking forward to meeting our next intake of students in October who are currently going through the application process.
Roll on year 2!