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Music Students Experience Nashville Sounds

SERC Music students Gilah Greig, Courtney Craig, David Wright, Nicky Dougherty, Dominic McCrory, Melissa Brown, visiting Curb Records to hear about the studio set up and future projects from Curb Studio’s David Bateman. 

A group of 12 music students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) took part in a three-week work and study experience to Nashville, Tennessee last term.  

Fully funded through the Turing Scheme, the music students were joined by the college’s culinary arts students for the state side trip and were the first of a cohort of 130 students – supported by 44 staff – from across SERC who undertook a work or placement visit this year.

The students from the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Music, Bangor Campus: Christopher Barry, (Killinchy); Francis Marsden, (Newtownabbey), Gilah Greig, (Newtownards), Conor Marcus, (Drumaness), Melissa Brown, (Newtownards), Nicole Smyth, (Bangor), Nicholas Dougherty, (Bangor), Orion Courtney Lee, (Bangor), Dominic McCrory, (Belfast); and Lisburn Campus: Courtney Craig, (Moneymore), Jordan Quinn, (Ballynahinch) and David Wright, (Clough), visited Belmont University where they played a gig with fellow students in Columbia Studio A – the very spot where Bob Dylan recorded a number of albums.  

A group of students with their lecturea and guide pose outside BMI buildings in Nashville
Students outside BMI in Nashville Dominic McCrory, Conor Marcus, Melissa Brown, Courtney Craig, Gilah Greig, David Wright, Francis Marsden, Christopher Barry, Nicole Smyth, Phil Parker, Tutor and Sarah Lingo from Sister Cities Nashville. 

If that wasn’t exciting enough, they got to perform at the Music City Irish Fest, hosted outside the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, sharing the billing with country music legend Garth Brooks.

SERC Music Lecturer, Peter McVeigh, who accompanied the students on the trip said,

“For many of the students, this trip will be life changing. It offered a fantastic insight into the real music industry, where many of them have career aspirations. They got to experience co-writing with musicians from Nashville as well as all the different cultures of the Nashville scene.

He added, “Besides experiencing Columbia Studio A and performing at the Grand Ole Opry, we also had a tour of Curb Studios – a huge record label who are interested in partnering with SERC for future trips.   I am delighted to say that we’ve made many more contacts that will help us build on this amazing opportunity for future students.”

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