With Performing and Creative Arts offering music and dance to art and design, creativity has always been nurtured at City College Norwich, with many students going on to showcase their talents for audiences locally, nationally and even internationally.
It’s not just the stars of the show who have perfected their craft with us, we have also equipped thousands of students with the skills to be the behind-the-scenes experts in lighting and sound, stage production, designing and editing.
1960s Lace making to Fashion Week 2016
Our commitment to education in the field of creative arts dates back many years with students making headlines and winning awards through the decades. In the 1960s students were at the forefront of dressmaking, shoe design and even the British music scene and in the 1980s they were getting noticed for furniture design and lace making.
More recently our creative arts students have been making a name for themselves in fashion with many aspiring designers showcasing their work in the prestigious annual shows at Norwich Fashion Week. Many of our creative disciplines are involved in the fashion week shows with textiles students designing clothes and accessories for the models, photography students shooting the action and lighting technicians producing the show atmosphere.
Creative courses that inspire
As far back as 1902, our students were embarking on creative classes in drawing, painting, wood and metal work. By 1913 there were many opportunities for vocational courses in creative trades for jewellers, cabinet makers, illustrators and lithographers. Music and drama courses were proving popular by the 1970s.
With the rise of multimedia, today’s students have had the opportunity to branch out in exciting creative careers such as film production, digital graphics, video games design and even music video production. Musician Ed Sheeran has been and performed at the college and one of our students even directed a music video for him as part of her course in the early days of his career; imagine learning the skills to enable you to produce his next music video! It’s all possible with hi-tech courses in Creative Media Production equipping students with everything they need to take their skills to the workplace – whether that’s a studio, a stage or an arena.
Learning from inspiring and experienced teachers is invaluable, learning from someone who tours with the biggest pop stars in the industry is pretty incredible! In 1999 students on the BTEC National Certificate and Diploma in Popular Music courses got the chance to learn from someone who has played in stadiums packed with music fans from around the world. Guy Richman, who has been a drummer for both Boyzone and Peter Andre, led a workshop at the college to pass on his experience of live performance and what it’s like to have a career in the music industry, working with some of the biggest stars of the decade.
At the turn of the millennium, Norwich was the principle media centre for East Anglia and City College Norwich was leading the way, offering an HND (Higher National Diploma) in Multimedia Design – the only qualification of its kind in the region.
From Norwich to stardom
From visiting music stars to college students who went on to be stars in their own right; the dream came true for a group of teens in the 1960s when City College student Peter Jay formed the band ‘Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers’. The band signed a recording deal in 1962 and even got to tour with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Their big hit was Can Can 62 – if you’re too young to remember it, you can still check it out on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrgRagR24sQ
A Platform for new talent
Whether the flair is for furniture design or fashion design, musical performance or media production, all great creative works need great facilities in which to take shape.
Students who dream of a future on the stage have a huge head-start at City College with their own theatre performance space on campus. ‘Platform’ is a producing house theatre where students stage performances open to the general public. Throughout June the box office has been busy as audiences packed the auditorium to catch performances of Pippin and Little Shop of Horrors presented by musical theatre students.
Platform not only provides a stage for performers, it is staffed by students who are studying the technical side of production, including sound and lights. Having a professional theatre on campus offers a realistic working environment for emerging talent in all areas of stage production and performing arts.
Investment in industry-standard facilities
Even television crews have used the facilities at City College Norwich to record their broadcasts. In 1999, independent production company, First Take Films hired the Media Suite to film links for the first series of First Take, which had run on Anglia TV since 1992. The college invested over half a million pounds to create a suite equipped to industry standard with TV and radio recording studios.
Just two years later, in 2001, the college opened the doors to a newly refurbished Drama Centre, offering a professional performance base for students of drama, theatre, music and dance. A huge accolade came in 2012 when the college was one of the first further education centres in the country to receive the prestigious Artsmark Gold accreditation from Arts Council England. This was in recognition of the quality of our arts education programme and the links that the College has established with creative and cultural sector employers throughout Norwich and Norfolk.
We are proud to have state of the art facilities in which students can prepare for careers in a wide range of media fields, from music videos to TV advert production and camera work to film and video editing techniques. Thanks to our strong relationships with local media and broadcasters we have a proven track record of students moving directly from performing and creative arts courses into the workplace.