“Despite all the knowledge and expertise that you will have accrued over the last few years, the most valuable asset BIMM will have given you is each other.”

Indeed, we couldn’t agree more with these words of Jeremy Pritchard, the bassist for Everything Everything. The critically-acclaimed Manchester band, who have had three top ten albums, recently returned to their hometown for one of the most magical days of the year, our BIMM Manchester Graduation.

Held at Manchester’s magnificent Albert Hall, Jeremy and Jonathan Higgs – Everything Everything’s frontman, joined staff, students and loved ones to celebrate the achievements of this year’s graduates. The duo gave a rousing speech and shared some sound words of encouragement about making it in the music business, with both artists drawing on their experiences as a well-known Mercury and Ivor Novello-nominated group.

But it was the theme of collaboration and the importance of friendship that struck a real chord with our students. Addressing our audience of nearly inducted alumni, Jeremy said: “Even if all your relationships end this afternoon, and you all disappear, never to clap eyes on each other again (which I think is unlikely), what you have artistically shared and learned from each other already will be invaluable as you make your way into the industry.”

The bassist, who formed Everything Everything while studying a music degree, also spoke of the role BIMM has played in nurturing our students’ talents: “You’re here because you understand the importance of collaboration and friendship already. And while these two things cannot simply be inserted into a person, they can be nurtured, and given structure, which is how you’ve spent the last few years.”

His words were echoed by lead vocalist Jonathan Higgs, who quoted some advice from the late David Bowie, who’d said: “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in; you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little bit further into the water than you feel you are capable of. And when you feel that your feet aren’t quite touching the bottom, then you are just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

The esteemed musicians later handed out BA scrolls and pins on stage to each of our graduates, alongside BIMM’s Executive Principal, Dara Kilkenny. In a heartfelt address to the audience, Dara urged our students to “be humble and help each other out and evolve”. She also relayed the advice of Elbow’s Guy Garvey – “always show kindness”.

Next to address the room was Vice-Chancellor Professor, Stephen Shute, from the University of Sussex – BIMM’s validating partner. Professor Shute talked extensively about a globally recognised degree and heading for a dynamic and fast-growing sector of the economy – the music industry.

“With the business skills you have learned at BIMM, your professional attitude, your experience and of course your amazing musical talent, you look set for successful careers,” he told students.

“This might be the end of your life at BIMM, but it’s only the start of your future. Be proud, be creative, be bold, take full advantage of all the opportunities that will come your way.”

Wishing the class well for the future, BIMM’s Head of Alumni, Rachel Meadows, also spoke of our alumni network and the support our graduates will continue to receive long after BIMM through BIMM Connect.

The afternoon was filled with highlights and several stellar performances from BIMM artists Dorothy Ella, who opened the ceremony with an enchanting rendition of La Vie en Rose; and Lizzie Walsh. There was even an opportunity to reward some of our most talented students, including Joel Cooke, who took home this year’s Vice Chancellor’s award.

This year’s graduation was a perfect opportunity to celebrate our distinguished Class of 2017, who leave BIMM with the qualifications needed to embark on the next stage of their journey.

POSTED ON: November 27, 2017
  • Manchester