Abbey Road trip for music students taking on brass composition challenge

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 February 2016 | UPDATED: 07:51 08 February 2016

Students arrive at Abbey Road (Picture: Faith Wright)

Students arrive at Abbey Road (Picture: Faith Wright)

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Music students from Weston-super-Mare were given the opportunity to perform at one of the world’s most famous recording studios – London’s Abbey Road.

Students at Abbey Road (Picture: Faith Wright)Students at Abbey Road (Picture: Faith Wright)

The students, who all study at Weston College, even got the chance to use the ‘John Lennon microphone’ during the project.

The pupils, who are in the second year of their music degrees at the college, were told to write a composition for brass instruments.

It had initially seemed a daunting prospect, as some students had no experience of writing music.

Student Grace Luren at first thought she could not do it.

But the project gave the students the opportunity to work alongside National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO).

Grace said: “I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with musicians of that calibre.

“I’m a singer, and cannot read music, so I thought I would embody a brass instrument.

“So I sang it all and pretended to be a trumpet.”

With the help of computer programmes, Grace was able to use her voice to compose music the brass players could play to.

Paul Raymond, who teaches the course, said: “Grace showed parts of it to the people who would play them, and the first thing they said was ‘wow, great’.

“That’s one of the great things about teaching, challenging people all the time to do things they previously thought they can’t do.”

The students took a trip to Abbey Road Studios in London, a recording studio most commonly associated with The Beatles.

Their tracks were recorded in the same studio used by Amy Winehouse, and they were even able to use the same microphone once used by Beatle John Lennon.

Grace said: “The project pushed us in a direction we would not normally go in, but it was a great opportunity to work with NYJO and go to Abbey Road.

“It has made me realise everything good is outside your comfort zone and if you say you can’t do something, you are screwed.

“If you give yourself up to trying, you may be surprised.”


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