Oxford students jam with world-class musicians


A group of musicians who have toured the world with internationally renowned legendary acts have been hitting the road on a UK tour to showcase the possibilities at new music institute Resonance.

Colleges up and down the country – including Abingdon & Witney College – have been getting rocked by the Resonance Roadshow band as it stops by to show prospective students what the brand-new state-of-the-art music institute is all about.

Based in the West Midlands just over half an hour from Birmingham City Centre, Resonance will be opening the doors to its first cohort of students in 2020.

Organisers of the roadshow will use the tour to highlight the myriad of careers available in the music industry – many of which are covered by the degree courses on offer at Resonance.

Co-director Rick Benton, who currently plays keyboard with West Midlands icons Magnum, assembled a band of talented musicians to help demonstrate how Resonance could kick-start a career in the music industry.

Singer with the roadshow band was Samantha Dorrance, 27, who while being a singer/songwriter in her own right, is also a children’s TV presenter and face of the Disney Channel.

She was joined by guitarist Greg Platt Lake, a session musician who has been working professionally since leaving school at the age of 16, and has worked all over the world with acts such as Steve Winwood and Robert Plant.

They were joined by session drummers Lloyd Draker and Richard Kirk, who has played with the likes of Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth, Limehouse Lizzy and the Grey Goose Blues Band; bassist Dan Clark who has played alongside Steve Vai, Scott Matthews and Beverley Knight; and Rick himself on the keys.

“We’ve been packing up our instruments into the back of a van and heading off around the country to spread the word of Resonance,” said Rick.

“For us it’s like gigging as many of us have done for years, but these roadshows are a unique way for us to demonstrate to young people considering a career in music how great coming to Resonance will be for them. It will be one of the best institutes of its kind in the country and I have no doubt that a lot of people will thrive in the learning environment we are creating.”

As well as performing songs and engaging students in music techniques, the sessions also aimed to provide a wider picture about careers in music.

“One of the things we are keen to stress here at Resonance is that while a career on stage is something that many will aspire too, there are lots of other careers in music you can follow,” said David Barnard, fellow co-director at Resonance.

“From the expertise needed for a live show to happen, to things like music teaching, the opportunities within the industries are endless. The point of these shows is to show the students that whatever their ambition is within music, Resonance can help them achieve it.”

The Resonance Roadshow visited Abingdon & Witney College on Tuesday 19 November.

Jamie Green, Music Technology Lecturer at the college said: “Alongside the performances, I think what the students will get out of today the most is the Q&A panel, and hearing those invaluable insights into the industry.

“I was really impressed with the questions the students asked and the in depth responses from Resonance; there was a whole group level of engagement and a good energy in the room.”

Finn Hustler, Level 3 Music Technology student, said: “The roadshow was very useful. The musicians’ tips about how to overcome challenges, especially balancing work and life commitments, were really insightful. Hearing about the gigs they’ve played and their experiences in the industry – it’s made me more aware of what I may face once I start my career.”

Blake, Level 3 Music Technology student, said: “I love how they incorporated the live sound and how much experience they collectively had, and how that experience is current; it’s not just “been there, done that”. The Q&A panel was great, especially the legal part as I hadn’t thought of that before, and it’s something I’ll definitely take away with me.”

Resonance will be offering degree courses in Popular Music Performance, Popular Music Production, Popular Music Performance & Production, Digital Music and Music Business from 2020.

To find out more information visit www.resonance-edu.org, search ‘Resonance Education’ on social media or email info@resonance-edu.org