Graduation day at Backstage Academy
Friday, 8 November 2019
graduation-29Some of the graduating students at Wkefield Cathedral
UK - Wakefield’s cathedral staged the official ceremony for 74 Backstage Academy (BA) students who graduated recently.
Students had their various production degrees conferred by Dr. Sue Duncan, assistant Vice chancellor and registrar, University of Bolton (with whom Backstage Academy is partnered).
They were also honoured by their various course leaders as they prepared to leave academia and enter the production world. Johnny Goodwin (Live Events Production), Graham Thorne (Live Visual Design & Production) and Claire Porter (Stage & Production Management) in turn accoladed their respective students as they filed up to the stage.
As Goodwin put it, “It’s always a great occasion to meet the families. They shake your hand and thank you for the guidance once they can see there is a job at the end of it, and that [students] are not simply running away to the circus.” And many have already found full-time employment within the industry.
The Ceremony also saw Backstage Academy’s first Honorary Fellowship conferred on Ash Nehru, co-founder of Disguise (formerly d3 Technologies) one of Backstage Academy’s enduring industry partners. Nehru was awarded the inaugural fellowship in recognition of his inspirational work and dedication to innovating the field of visual design and technology integration.
“We are delighted that 75% graduated with a first or 2:1. Our partnership with BA provides unique opportunities and conversion rates are high,” stated Dr. Duncan in her address. “Backstage Academy has earned a reputation as a centre of excellence and consistently secures [work] placements in key positions. We look forward to opportunities increasing year on year and our goal is to provide [students] with the foundation to start their future.”
Backstage Academy vice principal, Rachel Nicholson told the graduates: “This is all about celebrating several years of hard work. Your projects have been fantastic but what has impressed me most has been how you have supported each other and those below you and that would not have been possible without industry partnerships, tutors and BA staff. You will continue to learn on every project you undertake.”
The Graduation Ceremony itself had been produced by a student led production team backed with equipment and technology supplied by the institution’s numerous industry partners including A.C. Entertainment, Avolites, d&b audiotechnik, Disguise, Ethix Management, Green Hippo, KRS Rigging, KV2 Audio, Midas, Riedel, Roe Visual, Sennheiser, Shure and STS Touring.
(Jim Evans)

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