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UCOL brings Music programme to Whanganui

UCOL brings Music programme to Whanganui

UCOL is bringing its successful Contemporary Music programme to Whanganui.

For budding musicians, the new Certificate in Contemporary Music Performance at Whanganui UCOL could be their pathway to getting ‘a real job’ in the industry. It also creates a rare opportunity for professional musicians in the region: UCOL is inviting applications from people equipped to contribute to the programme.

Musician and Programme Leader Kane Parsons says the 34 week programme is designed to prepare graduates to enter the music industry or go on to further studies in specialised areas such as audio engineering or band management.

He says the timing is right to introduce the programme at Whanganui UCOL. “The success of Kiwi musicians over the last few years; Lady Hawke, Tiki Taane, Liam Finn, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kora, the Datsuns, to name a few, allows people to see it’s now a viable career. You can make a living as a professional musician.”

The programme has filled its quotas since it started two years ago at the Palmerston North campus. It is also running at the UCOL Masterton campus this year, again with a full house.

A number of graduates from the Palmerston North certificate programme have since joined bands or act as session musicians. The Blue Grizzly Band is a five piece group of UCOL music graduates. They play regular gigs and are due to record later this year. At least two graduates have spent time in Dubai working as musicians.

Former Palmerston North Music student, Anna Monteith, has gone on to study audio engineering in Auckland since graduating in 2010. She plays bass and drums in two bands, one of which is touring and recording in Germany later this year. She credits the music programme for developing her “awesome musicianship” and says touring overseas in a band will be a dream come true.

Big on live performance, the one year programme is based on the highly successful certificate offered by the Auckland based Music + Audio Institute of New Zealand or MAINZ. Kane says students form bands and train to perform in eight different styles during the year. There are regular band rehearsals, 13 hours a week of classroom tuition and practical tuition and practical tutorials covering music theory, composition, and arranging music.

“Students will also go out into the Whanganui community for live performances, giving them an opportunity to get valuable experience in public and adding colour to the local music scene as well.”


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