An amazing event full of outstanding performances!
Friday the 29th of April AMS Exeter hosted an absolutely sensational gig from guitarist extraordinaire Nick Harper, with supporting performances from The Academy of Music and Sound’s Principal Steve Ryan (Rev Hammer) and AMS Exeter’s Singer-Songwriting teacher Alex Johnstone. It was a full house at The Old Timer’s venue for this talent packed night full of music! Not only did Nick put on a fantastic show, he also attended our Exeter Centre during the day to host a special master class and question and answer session for our students. Thank you Nick, we are all very much looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Booked to play Live at Leeds festival!
AMS North east students the Fletcher Jackson Band are fast becoming the North East’s hottest ticket! They are not only booked to play Live at Leeds festival but they are tipped as one of the bands
to go and see by the Indiependent!
“For fans of the new wave of Bob Dylan imitators, take a detour to catch Fletcher Jackson’s set. He’s bringing back what Jake Bugg was trying to do with his debut album, but in a slightly more refreshing way. A raw, tuneful voice coupled with chugging guitars and pleasing melodies, Jackson’s songs will be a welcome respite from the more mainstream acts on the line up.”
– Zia Larty-Healy, The Indiependant.
From Distant Shores
Our music tutors are working industry professional’s..
Born in Salerno and raised in Foggia, Italy in 1974, guitarist and composer Francesco Lo Castro started studying guitar late in life, aged 25 he developed his guitar styles and technique under the tutoring of the great south Italian maestro Gianni Cataleta. He quit his Economic Studies (and a full time job in marketing) to fully focus on music in 2004. Two years after, he graduated with honors in music performance from a BMus at Thames Valley University (London). In the same year, he won the Best Guitarist Award at the Guitar Institute in London where he attended tutoring classes by Shaun Baxter and Iain Scott among others. He then earned a scholarship for MMus, completed in 2008, by winning the Vice Chancellor’s Award at TVU.
His guitar style and composing techniques suggest an intriguing combination of melodic Italian tradition, visual sound-scapes, modern jazz and soundtracks writing. This is evident in the 7 albums he has released under the Flocastro Records Label. “Dresden” ( from Chasing Beauty ) is listed in the Top 200 Downloads of all time, from the prestigius ALL ABOUT JAZZ USA and his works have united audience and critics alike.
Since 2009, he has been teaching on the BA Course held by the Academy of Music and Sound (Wolverhampton University). He has also collaborated and performed with legends such as Jim Mullen (Morrisey-Mullen), recorded for Geoff Wilkinson (Us3) and with contemporary musicians such Francesco Mendolia (Incognito), Richard Sadler (Neil Cowley Trio), Damien Nolan (VV Brown), Roberto Manzin (James Brown), Fulvio Sigurtà, Maurizio Minardi, Matteo Becucci (X Factor Italian Winner in 2009) and Bruno D’Ambra among others.
He is also known and recognised for his association with young Italian multi-platinum recording artist and entertainer Patrizio Buanne, with whom he has recorded, written and toured with since 2010. Australia, Asia, USA, Europe and South Africa.
Francesco Lo Castro has performed in his career in some of the most renowned and prestigious venues such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Hamer Hall (Melbourne), the State Theatre (Sydney), The Concert Hall (New York), the Expo Centre (Singapore), the Berklee Performance Centre (Boston), the Benedum (Pittsburgh), Barbican (London) and Palatrussardi (Milan).
To find out more please visit his website
Booking out venues throughout Swindon and the surrounding area..
Fronted by talented singer-songwriter and current AMS Swindon student Charlie-Anne Bradfield, musical quartet ‘Young Vintage’ have been making waves on the Swindon covers circuit with their eclectic take on classic songs that you know and love. Lead guitarist/vocalist Charile-Anne is joined by fellow AMS students Bradley Cowtan (guitar/backing vocals) and Jason Keen (drums/percussion), as well as local musician Matt Morecroft on upright/electric bass.
You can catch Young Vintage live right now at various venues throughout Swindon and the surrounding area. Check out the band’s Facebook page for up to date gig listings at
Over 30 Years of Industry experience!
John Tonks has worked in the industry as a performer, session musician, producer, musical director and manager for over 30 years.
John’s career to date spans numerous fields within the industry, countless ‘names’ that he has worked with including –
Alfie Boe, Little Mix, Neneh Cherry, Amandine Bourgeois, Jess Mills, Chris DeBurgh, The Streets, Gabriella Cilmi
Paul Oakenfold, Tricky, Duran Duran, Lamb, Thea Gilmore, Fish, Stina Nordenstam, Lemonjelly, Steve Winwood, Sugababes, CirKus, Thunder and many more.
He has a wealth of experiences that he will be happy to recount during his Q and A session.
Following the industry talk, there will be a drum masterclass for drum students from years 1 and 2.
John will be hosting his Q&A session and Drum Masterclass in our Exeter Centre on Friday the 22nd April @ 10.30 am
Higher Education at the Academy of Music and Sound has never been more attractive!
The Academy of Music and Sound has a strong history of preparing students for rigours of the modern music industry. We are conscious that this is a rapidly changing industry we’re preparing our students for and so we can’t stand still when it comes to our student experience. Our Foundation Degree courses in Music and Creative Music Production and BA (hons) in Performance Industries are constantly reviewed, evaluated and updated in light of changes in the industry. However today, your degree is only part of the story when it comes to your education, modern musicians needs to be incredibly skilled on their instrument, or in their discipline. However, they also need to be experienced and connected. In response to this, we have developed a brand new, comprehensive enrichment program. All Higher Education students will have exclusive access to this program;
Our industry led masterclasses will provide specific training and connections with top class practitioners. Previous masterclasses have been delivered by Nat Powers, Newton Faulkner, Futureheads, Bumblefoot, Vintage Trouble, PRS, Musicians Union and many more.
Our industry mentor scheme will connect students with dedicated professionals who will offer help and advice. The mentors will be available throughout the course and for 6 months after graduation to really help students to get their careers off the ground.
Our mentors include:
- Roy Harter: New York based Emmy award-winning, composer, sound designer and audio mixer, best known for his work in television and film. He is also a multi-instrumentalist for various performing and recording artists. Roy is the founder and owner of the post-production facility SkinnyMan, located in New York City.
- Glen Brady: Based in California, Glen Brady is a music producer & audio engineer. He writes and produces music which has been used by on TV networks such as CBS, Fox Sports, MTV, CW Network and Sky Sports. Glen specializes in analogue synth systems, modular synths and drum machines.
- Simon Efemey: A record producer, noted for his work with Napalm Death, Paradise Lost, Obituary, Amorphis, Deceased & The Wildhearts. Simon also works mixing live sound for The Wonder Stuff, Jesus Jones, Napalm Death, Diamond Head, Orson & Obituary.
- Rick McMurray: Founding member of Alternative Rock band Ash, Rick has toured the world as a drummer. Rick has extensive experience of the live and record industry, working professionally since the early 90s!
- Plus many more, covering all aspects of the music industry!
At the end of your first year on the Foundation Degree in Music Performance, students will be taken on a tour bus to a showcase event at a location within the UK. They will showcase their talents at a gig with students from across the UK. After the gig, they will spend the night on a tour bus as they’re taken home. Music Performance students will be given delegate passes to Liverpool Sound City where you can network with the who’s who of the UK music industry. Music Production students will have the opportunity to attend Sónar in Barcelona.
Applications for our courses starting in September 2016 are still open. Apply via UCAS for the Foundation Degree courses and through the University of Wolverhampton for the BA (hons) course. Our Foundation Degrees are available in our Birmingham, Exeter, Gateshead, Swindon and Southampton centres and our BA (hons) course is available in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gateshead, Birmingham, Swindon, Southampton and Exeter.
We are delighted to announce he will be holding a master class at our Exeter Centre on the 19th of April!
Newton Faulkner is heading out around the UK on a lengthy headline tour of the UK this April in support of his new album Human Love. This will be followed immediately by a second tour for Newton throughout May and June as he takes on the lead role in ‘American Idiot’, the musical based on the songs of Green Day. Newton is taking this opportunity to meet with students at music colleges around the tours to discuss his songwriting, performance and career to date, and play the odd song!
We are delighted to announce that he will be holding a master class at our Exeter Centre 12pm on the 19th of May!
Newton picked up his first guitar aged 13 and began playing along to the Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, CSNY and Bert Jansch records in his parents’ collection at home in suburban Redhill, Surrey. An unlikely period at the Italia Conti stage school in London was followed by a stint at the Academy Of Contemporary Music in Guildford, where he studied under the late Irish finger-style guitarist Eric Roche. It was in there that he developed a playing style that enables him to produce a bewildering array of percussive effects on his instrument.
His first album, Hand Built By Robots, topped the charts in 2007, deposing Amy Winehouse, with over a million in sales and spending a year in the Top 40. The follow-up, Rebuilt By Humans, was a tribute to the surgeons who saved his career after his right wrist was shattered in a freak mishap in the French Alps. His third album, the upbeat Write It On Your Skin, gave him a second chart-topper in 2012, while 2013’s Studio Zoo was made over five weeks in his East London home studio, with every move streamed online and open to comment on social media. Newton’s audacious new album, Human Love, is a colourful statement of intent and his first for new label BMG.Moving on from what he dubs ‘an interesting, if weird, experiment’, he completed Human Love with a renewed sense of purpose, which he is touring again as the fulcrum of a three-piece band featuring drummer Toby Couling and his brother Toby.
From 7pm on all 3 nights they will be taking over the festival’s Dance Tent..
Our AMS Swindon centre are very pleased to announce that they will be collaborating with Lechlade Festival this year. From 7pm on all 3 nights they will be taking over the festival’s Dance Tent to bring festival-goers live performances from some AMS Swindon students past and present, including a few special guest performances.
As well as providing a great festival experience for people of all ages, one of the long term aims of Lechlade Festival is to help fund music education for young people, so please get out to the festival and show your support!
The line-up will be released on social media streams over the next few weeks, so watch this space!
For more information on the festival and to buy your tickets, visit the Lechlade Festival website.
Craig is an excellent example of a self-made working musician..
AMS Swindon hosted an excellent drum masterclass from session player/drum tutor Craig Reynolds.
Craig is an excellent example of a self-made working musician. As well has being an established private drum teacher and online video tutor, Craig has worked with such bands as Brutality Will Prevail, Viatrophy, Deaf Havana and Architects to name but a few. Craig has also recently joined New York hardcore outfit Stray From the Path – we managed to catch him as he was preparing to leave on a 4 week US tour with the band!