A huge sense of achievement was felt by all at BIMM Brighton this week, as the latest cohort of degree-level students graduated with Honours during a poignant ceremony at the Brighton Dome.
Nestled in the heart of the city’s royal Pavilion Gardens, the historic venue hosted a record number of BIMM graduates (348), key faculty members, Sussex University representatives, heads of education and a special guest appearance from BIMM patron and rock ‘n’ roll icon, Roger Daltrey.
From the outset, the theme of music was prevalent with an opening performance from gypsy jazz troupe Gadjo Trois, whose upbeat acoustic stylings set a jovial tone as the graduands and their guests were seated.
BIMM faculty members were greeted by cheers of appreciation as they took to their seats on-stage looking spectacular in their ceremonial gowns. College Principal Martin Wright then kicked off proceedings with a rousing welcome speech.
“BIMM is a unique and special place. A place which is dedicated to helping aspiring musicians and industry professionals to achieve their personal and professional goals. The music industry is a complex and sometimes secretive world which can appear to be impenetrable. But here at BIMM, we believe that by connecting you with that industry whilst you’ve been studying with us, and by supporting you as you take hold of your careers, you will be better connected, fully armed and ready to succeed. You are the future of the music industry.”
Martin also acknowledged the added significance of today’s ceremony which coincides with his third year as College Principal. And an additional air of excitement could be felt during the ceremony which saw the very first cohort of Music Journalism degree students graduating since their course was first introduced to the curriculum three years prior.
Wright then handed things over to Professor Kelly Coate, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education and Students at the University of Sussex (ranked 25th in the Complete university guide), who validate BIMM’s degree-level courses. Coate gave an inspirational speech to the graduands, saying:
“Sussex University has a long-established reputation for innovation, and has been in partnership with BIMM for the last decade. It is an association that Sussex very much values. We know that you have studied in a special place with a distinctive philosophy and pedagogic posture, and you’re now headed for an incredibly dynamic and fast growing sector of the economy. With the business skills you’ve learned at BIMM, your professional attitude, your experience in live events and of course your amazing musical talent, you all look set for very successful careers.”
Kelly concluded with a reminder that “although this is the end of your life at BIMM, it is only the start of your future. Be proud, be creative and be bold.”
Martin Wright then welcomed Roger Daltrey on-stage – legendary frontman to classic British rock troupe ‘The Who’ and ranked among the top 50 singers in the world by Rolling Stone – who had some choice words of wisdom for the graduands on the subject of digital streaming.
“As you know, this industry is completely different from what it was even ten years ago. There are good things and bad things to know about digital streaming. Young artists today can have hit records via digital streaming sites without even being well known. Record companies can sign artists very cheaply these days, meaning it’s easier to get a deal, but it’s still difficult to build a career. That’s an issue that you as a generation are going to have to address.”
Roger also encouraged the young industry professionals to consider the implementation of their own over-arching royalty collection body alongside companies such as PRS For Music and PPL, to ensure they get their fair future share from the energies they put into recorded works.
After this, it was time for the awards, which consisted of recipients of BA (Hons) degrees in Professional Musicianship (Vocals, Drums, Guitar and Bass) as well as Songwriting, Music Production, Event Management, Music Business, Music Journalism and Post Graduate Certificate in learning and teaching.
The ceremony concluded with additional Special Achievement Awards, namely;
The College Principal’s Award – which was awarded to Sofia Hughes (Music Production) of Brighton-based Nu-Pop duo MOONOVERSUN and The BIMM Enterprise & Business Award which was set up in recognition of entrepreneurial achievements in music and was awarded to Patrick McNaught (Event Management graduate) for his work in the implementation of ‘Washed Out Festival’, a one-day multi-venue punk festival located in central Brighton which was set-up during the course of his final Professional Project.
Concluding the ceremony, Martin Wright, quoted the late great Jimi Hendrix, who appeared on Brighton Dome stage back in 1967, supported by Pink Floyd.
“Music doesn’t lie. If there is anything to be changed in this world, it can only happen through music.”
Are you interested in studying a course BIMM Brighton? Click here to take a look at our course options.