Accrington and Rossendale College - Band Studies no more!

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by Alan Fernie, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Alan Fernie

    Alan Fernie Member

    Scottish Borders
    This weekend coming sees the sad demise of the band studies course at Accrington and Rossendale College. I can't begin to explain or understand the complex logistical and financial reasons why it's all grinding to a halt, but it is a tradegy.

    I've been the arranging tutor for the last 4 years, and it's been an absolutely brilliant experience. I feel I've learned so much about my own writing in trying to explain what I do to the students (I'm self taught!), and I hope that I've tried to get things over as best as I can.

    The very best thing being involved in this has been working with all kinds of extraordinary band people, from all over the UK and beyond. I've met and got to know some remarkable characters among the students and staff, and their friendship will be valued by me for years to come - yes, even you, Clive!!!!

    I'd like to thank Richard Evans for asking me to do this job, and a rather backward thanks to Darroll, for emigrating and freeing the job up!! We're having a final Christmas "do" in the Cobblers in Rawtenstall on Saturday evening, where I'm looking forward to seeing a few old friends. Thanks to all the students who endured my hugely disorganised and panic stricken lectures - hope my treading water wasn't too obvious!!

    ps - Anyone needing an arrranging tutor??!!?? I'm now kind of out of a job!
  2. flashbarry

    flashbarry Member

    I remember getting a phonecall from Dick Evans asking me if I fancied being involved in the new course he was organising at Accrington and Rossendale. At the time I was also lecturing at Salford and Barnsley as a 'temporary part time lecturer', the title of the job should give you an idea of how precarious the position was! Finance was always a problem wherever I was working so you never knew when the chop was coming. So obviously I couldn't really turn down Dick's offer and will one day give him his hand back! I am still shaking it ;)

    The course at Accrington was brilliant, such colleagues as Dick and Arthur Butterworth made the place more like a fun factory, the atmosphere was amazing, to see the students turning up on cold wet Saturday mornings and throw themselves into the intricacies of harmony and composition with relish made you feel that you were part of something very special indeed. I also have made lots of long lasting friendships and you never know where you will run into a former student, but it always is a pleasure!

    The course will be bady missed, I can't think of anywhere else quite like it. I always felt that the students really wanted to learn and were not just killing time, as Alan mentioned when you start teaching any subject you realise how much you don't know and you really can't get away with bluster as bandsman are experts at seeking out phonies.

    So a final thank you to Dick, Arthur, Naomi and Chris for making my time at Accrington and Rossendale one of the highlights of my career, I hope all my students managed to learn something from me, I certainly learnt a lot from you :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

    Best wishes from a very nostalgic ex tutor in Oman ;)
  3. fatstickmanslim

    fatstickmanslim Member

    May i second everything said about the course, a great shame. Ably led by great bandpeople, for bandpeople. Taught me alot and enjoyed working with everybody. Derek Warley
  4. madandcrazytromboneguy

    madandcrazytromboneguy Member

    Its a total disgrace that theres no other place that wants to take on such a brilliant course. The tutorledge was fantastic, run by some top professionals and really good people and for the course to come to such an abrupt end it is a massive tragedy and the course will be sorely missed by everyone who has been successfull enough to pass it, including very much so, myself

    As has been mentioned already, the atmosphere was really friendly and it made the course so enjoyable and also very helpful as it covered such a variety of aspects of music. From a students perspective, I can without doubt say that this course has been the best education ive had in my life and the 4 years I was lucky enough to be part of were certainly 4 very unique years that ive experienced.

    I never thought that I would have had the privelidge of meeting people like Richard Evans, Alan Fernie, Arthur Butterworth just to name a few of the great people involved and to have gained so much from their wealth of knowledge has been 1 of the best things to happen for me.

    Also a mention for the other students on the course, they were all fantastic people to work with throughout my time on the course and they all helped me get through the course from start to finish. Being the youngest member of my year to start with made things feel a little bit weird but as I got to know everyone and they got to know me, and I went from being a teenager to an adult, I eventually felt an equal part of the team and to pass the course with this great group of people was a superb feeling, ive made a number of new friends through doing this course and I look forward to keeping in touch with all of them.

    Im sorry I couldn't attend the xmas meal but I wish everyone all the best, have a great xmas, and if i dont see you before it, a happy new year aswell.

    PS, thank you Alan! lol :tup
  5. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    I'm not sure that this is the case, but these things take time to establish. Universities move very slowly.
  6. JayneSop

    JayneSop Member

    In fairness to Clive he knows how hard the course leaders and admnistrators have worked over the last few years to find new colleges and universities to continue the course.

    It is a huge shame that this course has now finished. I know how much confidence and knowledge the course has given me. I've met some amazing people, people like Richard Evans and Arthur Butterworth. Truely inspirational people! I've even had the great pleasure of spilling Alan Fernie's beer in the Nightclub in Rawtenstall. Not many people are able to say that!!

    I was also blessed woth the company of students that i studied with over the long four years. I know I have made some life long friends whom i respect greatly, both teachers and students alike. We had great fun in and out of college and it is a terrible shame that other people won't have the same opportunities as us to undertake this degree.

    Chris , Richard and Arthur, please do not throw the towel in, please find a college who will take on this course. I know the course changed my life. I'm sure many other people feel the same way as me.

  7. MattB

    MattB Member

    Radcliffe, Gtr Manchester
    About 12 years ago I had the pleasure of going to Accy & Ross college at the weekend with school. I attended the conductors course under Richard Evans and what an experience that was. For such an eminent man to say to a 15 year old ' a brilliant beat young man' was amazing. Thank you for the time all the tutors have given. I'm sure someone somewhere must pick up this wonderful course.

  8. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    Tavistock Devon
    (I`ve had no internet due to moving house - so sorry for late reply to this thread!)
    I am so sad that this course has finished as it enabled me to qualify with a degree which has led to a PGCE, and I am now a music-co-ordinator in a primary school in Plymouth - a job I thought I would never do as I was a mum with babies before joining the course. It was a tough three years travelling from Devon to Rawtenstall, (1999-2002) but it was so worth it! Richard, Darroll, Arthur and Chris were all fantastic, and I consider it a real priviledge to have worked with these people. A special mention to Gary Lord who was so inspirational and helped change my flugel sound for ever! (must have worked as I won best soloist at Exmouth contest last year - thanks Gary!!)

    I have wonderful memories of the students - Netty, Anna, Nicky, Phil, Iain, Jeff, Simon- to name but a few - all busy, working people who were there because they wanted to be - such a wonderful atmosphere every weekend. I dearly hope all their dreams have come true from doing the course - mine certainly have!

    I`m so sad this course has ended - it truly has been life changing! (Sounds cheesy - but it`s true!!)
    My very best wishes for the future to everybody who was involved in this course.

    Emma Heard
    Soundhouse Brass
  9. Like the others above, I am saddened at this news. As yet another graduate of the course, I gained so much from the tuition and example of Richard Evans, Arthur Butterworth, Darrol Barry, and even the examination remarks of Howard Snell :) I'd also like to thank all the instrument tutors, particularly Bill Millar (Euph) and Steven Booth (baritone) - with their help I gave up playing :D
  10. weez

    weez Member

    I didn't realise there was a thread about the Acc & Ross Band Studies closure until now.

    It's been a tough time for all involved and with myself being in the last year of this particular degree at Accrington I have witnessed some really good news when the course was set to be reinstated and the dissappointment when it was not.

    Overall though I made some fantastic friends and got so much out of the course.. totally got into the idea of orchestral transcriptions!... Alan, I think I've got the bug.. who would have thought it!!

    I made great friends and it was a very positive experience. Such a shame others cannot experience exactly what I and others did at Accrington.

    Best wishes to all I know :)
  11. ISBBBb2

    ISBBBb2 Member

    Chesterfield, Derbyshire
    The frustrating thing is that had this been a course at Cambridge or oxford shutting down due to these reasons there would be up roar and it would make front page news. et it seems to have just slipped away as if nothing ever existed. Seems like such a waste of a fantastic course.
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