From education to employment

WaterBear Music College Hosts Inaugural Graduation

Landmark music education college WaterBear, has hosted its inaugural graduation ceremony to mark the many successes of its alumni, with leading singer-songwriter Frank Turner headlining the event as a keynote, inspirational speaker.

Held in the iconic Brighton Dome in the heart of the city, three cohorts of students from MA Degree courses and BA (Hons) Online programmes joined together with family, friends and staff members to celebrate their achievements and time at the college.

Guests were welcomed into the highly anticipated ceremony with renditions of motivational songs performed by a live string quartet, which they enjoyed again during the drinks reception following the presentation. The talented, independent artists and musicians took to the stage one by one to receive their graduation awards, presented by their esteemed programme leaders Rasha Shaheen (MA) and Kaya Herstad-Carney (BA (Hons) Online), before also being commended by Frank Turner and the college’s Co-Founder Adam Bushell.

In addition to complimentary professional photographs, attendees also had the opportunity to capture their own memoirs in a photo booth created by the college’s social media team, many of whom are current or previous WaterBear students.

Music education pioneer and WaterBear’s Co-Founder Adam Bushell addressed the graduating students and said, “Many congratulations to you all on your Graduation. It’s my absolute privilege to share this moment with you, your families and friends. This prestigious day marks the conclusion of a journey of hard work, dedication and discipline. It also represents the start of an exciting new chapter. 

“You have placed your faith in WaterBear and as such, have made a unique and special contribution to our history. I sincerely hope your faith and trust has been rewarded throughout your time here.  Remember that wherever life’s journey takes you next, you’ll always be a part of the extended WaterBear family. You are also about to enter the network of WaterBear alumni, a growing community of like-minded people, all of whom are connected by our shared life story. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you. It will be an even greater source of pride to see you move on with your journey to ever greater things.”

Co-Founder Bruce John Dickinson commented, “This is a significant occasion for WaterBear as we host our very own, first graduation ceremony. It is a pleasure to celebrate the monumental achievements of our industrious students, and as they now reap the rewards of the solid foundation that they have built during their time with us for a sustainable career in music. We wish them the very best of luck as they progress in the industry and look forward to hearing of their further successes.”

One graduating student, Duncan Howlett, who studied MA Music Entrepreneur commented on his experience and said, “I started my time at WaterBear as a non-academic, working musician and doing a master’s degree seemed like a massive task. But, with active participation they really nurtured my strengths and weaknesses and really encouraged growth in skills and areas of my portfolio that I didn’t even realise would be a focus. WaterBear has changed my life. It’s given me a massive amount of validated confidence in my abilities and knowledge. And it’s made my family proud too.”

Following the completion of his degree, Duncan has enjoyed a busy summer of live performance and content making. He also works with the college to interview pupils, attend events and create films for them, in addition to other music companies. Duncan has filmed legendary artists and industry professionals including Frogleap at Abbey Road, Rabea Massaad, and Ronan Keating, with his company Howlett Media going from strength to strength.

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