On 20 September, BIMM staff, tutors, families, friends and our special guest, The Hacienda legend Mike Pickering, came together at the magnificent Brighton Dome to bid a fond farewell to our outgoing Class of 2017.
Dressed in gowns and mortarboard hats, our talented graduates, who leave us with a host of outstanding qualifications, were given a chance to reflect on three extraordinary years at BIMM on a stage that once hosted ABBA, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix.
The graduation – the biggest in BIMM Brighton’s history – saw performances, videos and speeches from our BIMM tutors. Opening to Bowie’s ‘Heroes’, BIMM Brighton’s College Principal Martin Wright congratulated students on reaching this memorable moment and being ready to leave ready to embrace the next step in their careers:
“There are definitely certain moments in life that you’ll never forget – this is one of those moments,” he told the audience. “A graduation event for BIMM is the culmination of everything we have done together to get to this launch point in your lives as professionals in the music industry.”
“These moments of celebration and success remain the most precious and most memorable for me and my colleagues here today. We all know how hard you have worked and that it has not always been that easy as well, we also know how superb it feels to achieve a very big goal in life. You are the future of the music industry!”
Martin was followed by Professor Tim Jordan – The University of Sussex’s Head of Film, Music and School – who praised our students for the value of their creativity and the impact they will have on society’s culture:
“You have a globally recognised degree, and you’ve studied in a special place and you are headed for a dynamic sector of the economy,” he told our students.
M People founder, DJ and esteemed producer, Mike Pickering used his speech to talk about the rise of the music industry and its adaption to digital, music’s £4.4 billion contribution to the UK economy, and the wealth of opportunities now available to students through live music, the internet and streaming.
“All I’ve got to say to you really is that I’m jealous of you all. You’re entering the music industry at a time where it’s perfect: people in the media wrote it off [the music industry] and said the end of physical into digital is going to kill it. But it’s adapted, as it always has,” he explained.
“We look at colleges like BIMM …we look at schools; we need young people, and we need you,” he added. “Stay positive and do what you feel, you’re so lucky to be going into such a growing industry.”
Our graduates later received their certificates from their course leaders to an all mighty applause and cheers – and yes, a few tears of joy as well. Our ceremony ended with a series of awards for several talented students, including Chelsea Rixson, who received the BIMM Alumni award for the Brighton Music Office, which supports live bands and artists throughout the city.
Closing the event with a final word of advice, Brighton’s Principal Martin Wright said:
“Be ambitious, be brave and stay passionate about what you believe in.”
We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate every member of our Class of 2017. We wish you the best of luck with your future plans and hope you’ve enjoyed your time here as much as we have enjoyed teaching you.