A new partnership between UCLan and local venue The Ferret has seen music students run free monthly shows in the city.Advertisement
Since the beginning of term, students on UCLan’s BA (Hons) Music Production and Performance have teamed up with Preston’s own ‘School of Rock’ to plan, run and perform the shows.
On Tuesday 14 December, a group of final year students have organised a free Christmas show, open to all, featuring an open mic slot, student performances, and headline act, the Pancake Steel Band, a popular five-piece from Darwen.
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Ivana Douglas, a third-year music production and performance student, is one of the coordinators.
Ivana said: “We’ve already hosted a couple of shows at The Ferret, and the atmosphere has been incredible.
“Any student or member of the public can take part in our open mic session, but from 8.00pm onwards, music and performance students take the centre stage followed by our headline act.
“After the Covid lockdown, The Ferret has given us a valuable opportunity to perform to a live audience, which is something you can’t beat.”
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The 26-year-old is no stranger to organising events, having worked at the Grand in Clitheroe before enrolling at UCLan.
UCLan’s Simon Partridge, Senior Lecturer in Music, said: “We have developed a reciprocal partnership with The Ferret to give music students the chance to perform in a public venue and catch up on some of the experiences they’ve missed.
“We’re also keen to support a key grassroots setting, which has been part of Preston’s cultural life for many years.”
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Third-year music and performance student Charlotte Smith has benefitted from the initiative.
Charlotte said: “It’s been a slightly surreal experience playing and singing inside a packed venue again but a really enjoyable one.
“Although I’ll be looking for career opportunities within the recording and production side of the music industry, the experiences we’re all gaining at The Ferret have been invaluable.”
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The Ferret Manager Matt Fawbert added: “It’s been great to partner with the UCLan students on this initiative.
“There is some real energy, talent and creative drive in the group, and I’m sure this experience will help in their quest to forge careers in the music industry.
“We’re all looking forward to the performances on 14 December. It’s free to attend and open to all.”
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The 14 December show, billed as an early Christmas party, starts at 7.00pm for the casual open mic acts.
At 8.00pm, performance students will take to the stage, with the Pancake Steel Band appearing at approximately 9.30pm.
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