Students thrive in BBC recording at Ayrshire College studio

Students thrive in BBC recording at Ayrshire College studio

Ayrshire College has successfully recorded its second live performance for BBC Radio Scotland’s BBC Introducing in Scotland programme, played on Friday 24 June 2022.

NANI was the second artist to be selected from a shortlist of candidates for this opportunity – after a successful session with Pretty Preachers Club in January 2022 - by the Ayrshire College team. The students then facilitated the recording session on the day, helping with showrunner duties, capturing video and sound, and taking photographs.

The three-year partnership between Ayrshire College and BBC Radio Scotland is the first-of-its-kind, with Ayrshire College being Scotland’s first educational institution to collaborate with the BBC Music Introducing project. BBC Music Introducing has had enormous success in England, helping to launch the careers of Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora.

Ayrshire College was identified by Creative & Cultural Skills as the perfect partner for BBC Music Introducing in Scotland. The recording sessions take place in the newly upgraded Studio G54 at the college’s Ayr Campus.

Formalising the partnership has been a real coup for the college’s Music and Sound Production department, who have hit the ground running with two hugely successful recording sessions so far.

The partnership provides students with meaningful work experience in the creative industries – networking and working with sector leaders, liaising with music artists, and gaining experience of recording live performances to broadcast quality.

With support from lecturers David McAulay and John McBlain, five students were involved in NANI’s recording session. Jake Ballantyne (HNC Media Analysis & Production) was in charge of video capture, Callum Gibb (HND Sound Production) had a sound production role, Nicole Kilpatrick (HND Music) was the showrunner and artist liaison, while Ashley McKinlay and Anna Williams (both NC Photography) were the photographers on the day.

NANI is an Edinburgh-based independent musician and producer. Her performance was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland’s BBC Introducing in Scotland programme on Friday 24 June at 8pm and is available to listen to now on the BBC Sounds app and the BBC Radio Scotland website.

Studio G54 has received significant funding from the Ayrshire College Foundation to help realise the department’s ambitions.

Patrick Devlin, Curriculum Manager for Music and Sound Production at Ayrshire College, said: “As the sole FE partner in this unique collaboration for the whole of Scotland, we feel honoured and extremely privileged to be involved with CCSkills and BBC Scotland. 

“The Music and Sound Production department has been exceedingly fortunate to have been provided extra funding through the Ayrshire College Foundation’s Innovation Fund to the amount of £25,000, to enhance our already first-class recording facilities to be a truly world-class environment for music, sound production and media students to learn.

“From the early days of 2000 when the college was one of only two institutions to have acquired AVID Learning Partner status for industry standard Pro Tools education programme integration, this partnership represents the pinnacle of that journey from that point 22 years ago.

“As a department, we always strive to go further to provide a competitive advantage for our students and this opportunity to work with such a global media partner, doesn’t come around very often. We hope it is the start of a fruitful partnership for years to come.”

Lindsay Gillies, Producer for BBC Introducing in Scotland, said: “From the BBC’s point of view, this is a great situation to be in. We work with Ayrshire College and find out what they want to do and establish that together. We make an editorial decision about the top five artists from our BBC Introducing Uploader, and then this allows the Ayrshire College team to make editorial decisions based on the top 5 we recommend.

“This partnership provides the opportunity to record a professional sounding session and working to deadlines to have the recording session broadcast nationally. These are things that I do every day and it is great for the Ayrshire College team to get the chance to experience them as well.”

Kathryn Willens, Head of Partnerships (Scotland) at Creative & Cultural Skills, said: “Creative work-based learning opportunities are a brilliant way to engage students, develop their work-ready skills and nurture Scotland’s future workforce. The team at Ayrshire College and the student cohort involved have really set the pace with this partnership with BBC Scotland / BBC Music Introducing. It’s always inspiring when efforts to connect the UK’s world-class creative employers with new waves of industry talent generate such excitement and energy. Well done to all involved, and can’t wait to listen in on the next Ayrshire College / BBC Scotland Introducing session!”

1 July 2022

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