The Bridgewater Hall played host to hundreds of students this month as they formally completed their qualifications to become the third graduating cohort of BIMM Manchester.
The event, which was held at the city’s international concert venue, was presented by college Principal Steve Cobain and featured guest appearances from Executive Principal Dara Kilkenny, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Sussex University Rordon Wilkinson and esteemed Music industry legend and BIMM group Director Tony Wadsworth CBE, all of whom gave inspirational speeches of encouragement for the young graduands.
BIMM Manchester faculty members, staff, peers, friends and family members were also in attendance at the event, which was kicked off with a moving acoustic rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic song ‘Hallelujah’ by performance students Miranda Myles and Jamie Ferguson, followed by an opening speech from Steve Cobain, who said:
“It’s a great feeling for us today. This being our third graduating year, we feel like we’ve graduated a little bit too, as we’ve moved from the Town Hall, to the Albert Hall to Bridgewater Hall. It’s truly an awesome sight to see you all here. So, congratulations to you all. It’s so richly deserved.”
Executive Principal Dara Kilkenny gave a poignant speech in acknowledgement of the love and support given by the graduands families and friends, before offering some sage advice on maintaining the valuable network of relationships garnered during their time here.
“Manchester as a city is so unique and has a huge focus on the cultural and the creative, and I’m proud of you all for embracing that at BIMM Manchester. During your time with us, you’ll have forged some lifelong friendships and allegiances. These are hugely important for the future because it’s the support system that you’ve found here that you will always have.”
Dara also gave thanks for the continued efforts of BIMM Manchester’s Principal, Heads of Education and H.E, Student Support services, Careers, Industry Liaison, Events Team and wider faculty of tutors and staff. She concluded with an anecdote on BIMM’s shared educational ethos and vision with our accrediting body, the University of Sussex, as she welcomed its Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Innovation Rordon Wilkinson to the stage.
“Sussex has a long established global reputation for innovation in teaching and research.” Said Rodon. “We’re proud of our staff, we’re proud of our relationship with BIMM. Those who have guided you through your learning have done so with genuine passion. With the business skills you’ve learned, your professional attitude, your experiences with live events, you’re likely to set the world on fire. Combine that with your talents and we’re all in for a treat in watching you succeed.”
A key note speech was given by Tony Wadsworth CBE, who took to the stage to reflect on an enviable career within the music industry which has included time as Chairman and CEO of EMI Music UK & Ireland, Managing Director of Parlophone Records and Chairman of the Brit Awards and BPI.
“There’s still a problem in this country where jobs in the music and creative industries aren’t taken very seriously by people. I can tell you that those people are way out of touch. The UK is a creative global leader with a music industry that employs over 140,000 people. Music, you see, is something which this country does very well indeed. It contributes over £4.5 billion to the UK economy. So, congratulations to you. Because you’re about to join one of the fastest growing industries in this country.”
After some further anecdotes from Wadsworth’s time working with artists as prestigious as Kate Bush, Radiohead, Blur and the Beastie Boys, the graduands were called up onto the Bridgewater Hall stage to collect their awards and officially complete their time at BIMM Manchester.
The final certificate of the day was the Vice Chancellor’s Award for the highest achieving Professional Project, which was presented to Music Production student Jamie Danter. He put an extraordinary amount of time and work into real world practice, collaborating with fellow students and professionals alike to achieve many impressive feats during his time at BIMM Manchester.
To finish the event, the new graduates were treated to a performance from Fee Fee & The Sentiments, who performed an alternative rendition of Bruno Mars’ smash hit, ‘Treasure’, before heading off to the after party and onwards to their post-graduate careers.
We wish each and every new graduate the very best of luck with their onward journeys into this exciting business we call the music industry.