The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) together with the iconic band SKUNK ANANSIE has announced that NICOLE CANNONIER is the exclusive winner of their 2018 Scholarship.
Since Skin has just received the Music Week Women In Music Award for Inspirational Artist,it is fitting that she transmits her legacy to Nicole, who now begins her own musical journey into the industry via the reputable ACM.
Nicole said: “I didn’t expect to win the Scholarship, I just thought I’d enter it. When I found out that I’d won it was like oh my gosh – I felt to overwhelmed – I didn’t expect it, it was a good feeling. I just feel so grateful.”
Worth £27,000, the Skunk Anansie Scholarship is exclusively ran by ACM as part of its £130,000 Scholarship programme.
Awarded based on talent, passion, dedication and commitment to building a long-lasting and sustainable career in the creative industries, Skunk Anansie chose Nicole because of the pure drive displayed in her application.
Skin said: “For me, Nicole’s video really stood out because especially in this industry nowadays, you have to have everything – all of it put together, very good visuals and a musical viewpoint of your whole career. For me what stood out was how fresh and contemporary she was and I thought she was a really good representation of what I think is really cool in the music industry right now. The styling of the video was great, the lighting, the imagery, and the angles.”
Known for its unique approach to education in the creative industries, ACM promotes a “learn by doing” ethos with valuable links to real-world industry professionals and impressive state-of-the-art facilities.
ACM is thrilled that Nicole will be joining its London campus to study vocals at degree level, and hope to be able to support her as she embarks on her career in the creative industries.
Ace, Director of Creative Industry Development at ACM and guitarist in Skunk Anansie said: “I’m really excited to start working with Nicole at ACM, her application was outstanding – it’s great to see such passion, dedication and talent! Our Scholarship is now in its third year and it’s fantastic to partner with ACM on this to give back to the next generation of the creative industries and champion new talent. We are also super proud of Skin for winning the Music Week, Women In Music award for Inspirational Artist – I know she is going to be such a good role model not only to Nicole but all of our student body at ACM.”
Each year, as part of a £130,000 program, ACM is pleased to award the exclusive FREDDIE MERCURY SCHOLARSHIP to a talented student, allowing him or her to study in a funded undergraduate course at one of its three campuses, Guildford, London or Birmingham.
Both the ACM and the Queen are proud to announce LEONI KENNEDY as the winner of the iconic 2018 award. Leoni said: “I’ve recently found out that I am this year’s Freddie Mercury Scholarship winner and to me it means the world, it makes me feel appreciated and that I can actually do what I want to do for the rest of my life”.
A panel of ACM tutors chooses a shortlist before the last ones are shown to Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor ( a Patron of ACM) and Queen guitarist Brian May. After much discussion, this year’s winner was chosen as Leoni Kennedy for her beautiful rendering and remarkable artistry that both Roger and Brian felt was a perfect fit .
Kieron Pepper, Director of Artistic Development and Creative Production of ACM, said: “After sifting through an incredible amount of outstanding talent, passion and evidence of drive and dedication, I’m pleased to say that the winner of this year’s Freddie Mercury Scholarship is Leoni Kennedy – a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and budding producer. She very clearly has her sights set on creating some amazing work as an artist and as a professional. I’m looking forward very much to working with her, and introducing her to the talent in the ACM student network.”
To celebrate the three years of this reputable award, and the anniversary of Queen’s classic “The Show Must Go On” (October 14), last year’s winner Daisy Phillips and this year’s winner Leoni Kennedy recorded a version at Metropolis Studios [also a campus of ACM]. The informal cover features the two girls on guitar & vocals accompanied by ACM Student Harry Leo on the piano.
As a result of this fantastic version of the Queen’s song, Leoni, Daisy and Harry have been invited to celebrate the release of the Queen’s movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by performing their cover in association with YouTube at a busking event. Check the video below.
Taking place over four days, ACM Summer Live will showcase all the phenomenal talent that ACM has to offer, including shows from the most exciting emerging musical talent in the country…
With a strong learning by doing ethos at the core of its values, ACM is pleased to offer the immersive learning experience of Summer Live to its students. From the Technical Services students responsible for the stage, sound and production, to the artists, songwriters, bands and producers performing — all ACM students are encouraged to participate in Summer Live and learn in the environment of the famous Electric Theatre in Guildford, Surrey.
And compared by presenters from the local radio station Eagle Radio, this event will celebrate the work done by ACM students, in all disciplines.
Kieron Pepper, Head of Artist Development and Creative Output and Drummer for The Prodigy (1997-2007) said:
“I’m incredibly proud to work alongside the talented student bands and artists to put on our annual Summer Live showcase. I honestly believe that they are the future of the music industry and I can’t wait for the amazing performances that will be happening at The Electric Theatre between 17th and 20th of July.”
Through their inter-woven folk/rock prog-rock compositions, Elaine Samuels and KINDRED SPIRIT explore the magic of our existence.
We saw their spring show this week at the new community facility in the heart of Twickenham, in the excellent 320-seat theatre at Brewery Wharf — known as The Exchange.
Under a bright star-pentagram, an ancient sign of cyclic transformation, the show started with the driving energy of a new number.
“Pandora’s Box” had dragon-skin rhythms from Aleem Saleh on drums, enchanted voices from both Elaine and Catherine, threaded stringwork from the talented Martin Ash on violin and spiral water-snakes of pure enchantment from Catherine Dimmock on flute.
Their “Beast” cycle came in the first half of the concert. With “Run Red” perhaps the most melancholic part of the set-piece. Cloudy with violin mists, this lyrical “feminist historical anthem…” was performed with great majesty and artfulness.
Elaine explained that the song was inspired by a challenge given by a fan.
He dared her to write a song influenced by Alan Moore’s American Gothic story “The Cursed.”
The final part of the song-cycle was the Dylanesque and haunting “Wolves at the Gate.”
As well as the amazing song ‘Kindred Spirit’ with its gentle meanders, we also enjoyed the mysticism of ‘Children of the Stars’ a song that explored our shared journey across the universe, with yearning sax from Catherine.
We were also treated to a second apocalyptic new number [from their forthcoming fan-funded album.)
Titled “Red Rose” it began with a tribal drum then slowly built into a fiddle-dee-ree urban jig of wonderful proportions. The number was truly cinematic in scope.
The highpoint of the Twickenham show was, for us, the third new song from the much anticipated album. Titled “Daemons” this was the first time it had been played in public.
A prowling pace was set-up by drummer Aleem with loitering moodiness from Mike Hislop on bass.
Then began the ever-fermenting and promiscuously potent concoction of sounds.
With a frenzy of fire from Martin’s violin strings and lots of lucid provocation from Catherine… this was possibly the only true “prog rock” number of the night. Boy, what a stunner!
Kindred Spirit gave us seductive treasures, moments of complete serenity, and songs of constant wonder. A great show. We can’t wait for the next album.
The Executive Chairman of the ACADEMY OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC (ACM) in Surrey UK — Kainne Clements — today opened a new state-of-the-art recording facility on its Guildford campus.
The new Rodboro Studio will be used by ACM’s world-class tutors for lectures, workshops and master-classes, such as their annual Audio Production Event (APE).
When the studio isn’t used by teaching staff, all ACM Guildford students will have the opportunity to reserve the space. The facility will be open to students 5 days a week and until midnight. Staff will be available to support students.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, visitors at the event saw the first-ever audio production made at the studio — a song recorded by the 4-piece Guildford band KISSED AND CROWNED who made an inaugural recording in the live room with members of the ACM ELECTRON CHOIR under the direction of Kaya Herstad Carney.
The Grammy Award-winning Liam Nolan engineered the recording.
The Guildford studio reflects the quality of the largest studio installation in Europe: The Metropolis Studios based in Chiswick, London. Kainne Clements is also co-owner of Metropolis.
Sound engineer Liam Nolan [Adele, Jess Glynne, Calvin Harris] gave a demonstration of the new facilities and said: “It’s a great space, great gear, great microphones, great desk — very similar to what we have at Metropolis — and it’s going to be a fantastic new studio for the students to use...”
ACM has been building sustainable and long-lasting careers for students in all corners of the creative industries since 1995. With a pioneering approach to education, ACM’s “Learning by doing” mantra enables a totally immersive experience for students and ensures they are connected directly with the industry through dedicated workshops and teaching in a real-world setting.
Facilities such as the new flagship studio in Surrey, along with the real-world experience offered by its Industry Link department, mean that ACM students receive an unparalleled learning experience. The ACM aims to increase the number of students from 1800 to 2000 students during 2018.
SCHOOL OF ROCK is a rock musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes, based on the 2003 musical comedy film released by Paramount and starring Jack Black and Joan Cusack.
This week we went to see the excellent production of the musical by The Performing and Visual Arts Faculty at the Magna Carta School, at Thorpe Road Staines, directed by Danny Gwynne, with Helen Claringbull’s musical direction and choreography by Riannon Stygal.
The musical follows the adventures of Dewey Finn, a jobless rock singer and guitarist who claims to be a substitute teacher at a prestigious high school.
After identifying the musical talent in his students, Dewey forms a band of fifth-grade students, in an attempt to win the next Battle of the Bands contest and “stick it” to his ex bandmates.
The musical at Magna Carta began with a hilarious performance by the band “No Vacancy” who are about to shelve their guitarist, Dewey, because he keeps upstaging the lead singer.
After the show we first meet Ned Schneebly, and his dominant wife/girlfriend Patty Di Marco at their pad. This is where Dewey crashes, rent-free. Patty wants Dewey out, but he receives a call from the private school at Horace Green who wants to hire Ned as a substitute teacher (“a temp?”) and Dewey sees there is a possibility of making some bucks (to pay his dues) so he plans to impersonate his friend and take “the gig.”
At Horace Green we first meet with the slightly testy Rosalie Mullins.
She sings the school anthem “Here at Horace Green” and we find she’s fussy about behaviour, competitiveness and quality.
In comes the disreputable Dewey character (pretending to be Mr. Schneebly) “Just call me Mister S...” He is not only doubtful but also lazy. “Got anything to eat?” he asks one kid. “Got any money? Go to Subway and get me something,” he yells.
Soon after this, though, he hears the kids playing in the school orchestra, and their relationship develops: the deficient teacher and the too-good-to-be-true, goodie-two-shoed, teacher’s-pets. He gets them to “Stick it to the Man” (Miss Mullins is the man… Donald Trump is the man...”) and they teach him determination and resilience.
One of the best scenes in the Magna Carta production was when Dewey discovers that Miss Mullins is a secret fan of Stevie Nicks and takes her to a coffee shop where she confesses (over beer) that she is a nightmare… and that’s why nobody likes her. This scene gives us the first inkling there’s electricity between them. A frisson that came over well in this great show.
Poppy Williams who played Tomika (vocals) was the definition of proficiency. Her soul-filled voice filled the auditorium and was worth waiting for.
Lanky Alistair Scott (Zack, the guitarist) was also perfect on the night, uptight, tense & nervy, that is until he “stuck it to the man” (in this case, his Dad) and liberated himself through rock music. A great performance.
Amy Young (Katie on bass) was perhaps not so studiously inclined as her character in the movie, the Magna Carta version of the character was zesty and more polished. We liked this version a lot…
Daisy Lee and Sali Adams (Shonelle and Marcy) were exemplary, as was UmarAunghareeta (playing Lawrence on keys) and Sammy Austin (playing Freddie on drums.) But perhaps more could have been done with Dylan Oak’s character (Billy the stylist) and Ella Clark (Summer, the manager.) Both were great actors but their roles were underutilized (in our opinion) — but these are minor quibbles.
Great acclaim should go to the children who played the parts of the parents of students.
Each one played a superior and memorable cameo role.
And the ensemble and the orchestra was just fantabulisticcal!
Of course, the stand-out performance of the night was from Dewey Finn, played by Sebastian Hobden. He owned the stage — left, right and centre — our only comment being: “I wish he’d calm down and settle.” Jack Black was unflustered in this role, a calm influence on the kids and his half-asleep attitude and laid-back kinda style was commanding. But Sebastian opted to interpret the character entirely differently — as a spring-heeled cat on a hot-tin roof, with uncontrolled levels of untapped ever-fermenting energy. At times we just wanted him to be tackled to the ground by the crew. God love him! You couldn’t fault his earnestness.
The most notable performance was that of Katie Mack, who played Miss Mullins. She didn’t put a foot nor finger wrong. She sang with controlled emotion, spoke with excellent articulation and gave a very credible portrayal of the dispassionate and distant school principal who has an (invisible) heart of the liquid honey.
Big thanks must also go to the TMCS PVA Faculty, the entire production team (especially Lily Warnes for her excellent stage management) and the hairdressing and makeup teams, as well as everyone who made this show such a magical success.
Here at AD PONTES we always said that STEVE WHALLEY is the zen master of cathartic liberation.
There is no nonsense or schmaltz in his show, oh no!
He will tear your emotions apart before healing you with a frenzy of dramatic soul & rock numbers from the song books of heroes like Tom Waits and Dylan.
And at Staines Riverside Club last night, after an excellent start that included a stylish Leon Russell type “Youngblood” Steve tried some new material.
In fact he even produced a special guitar for the Ry Cooder number — Vigilante Man.
“This is a dangerous tool ...” he alerted the audience. “I have to keep it set to stun, otherwise it will cause some serious damage...”
His interpretation was incredibly perfect. And although we know that Steve’s one of the best vocalists on the circuit, it was clear from this number that we shouldn’t underestimate his guitar skills either… His blues-picking and finger slides were remarkable.
The incredible rhythmc finger-picking skills were evident again on the “Kingston Trio” style Bahamian folk song John B. Sails [aka Sloop John B.]
It was a sensational way to end a memorable night.
With his son Tat Whalley on bass (he eclipsed my achievements many times) and Bruvvers/Meal Ticket drummer Chris Hunt [he taught me everything I ever needed to know about music] this was one of the best concerts of the year.
And the amazing thing is that Steve suffered a nasty head-cold head all night long. And complained, often, “ I cannot hear a damn thing...”
We can’t imagine how good this would have been if Steve had been in ship-shape condition and didn’t feel “so broke up...”
If you missed the show, regularly visit the STAINES RIVERSIDE club for quality live music [every other Thursday] and most weekends. Please support your local live music venue.