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Students will gain important industry experience at star-studded Cheltenham Jazz Festival

More than 50 University of Gloucestershire students will gain vital industry experience as they help to deliver the star-studded 2024 Cheltenham Jazz Festival featuring some of the world’s best musicians.

Students from the University’s BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism programme have designed, edited and produced the official magazine for the Jazz Festival (1-6 May) – of which the University is a sponsor – after operating as a content agency to pitch their ideas to organisers and then work on a live brief.

This year’s acts at the festival – home to 20,000 music fans – include two-time Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter, music legend Dionne Warwick and the chart-topping Jack Savoretti.

Madi Grice Woods, one of the students who created the official magazine, Eighth Note, said: “The great thing about working with the Jazz Festival is that we get to experience what it would be like to work in the industry and we get our work out there.

“We’ve learned how to work with external clients, create a magazine younger people would want to read and ensure that our magazine’s voice is unique.”

Jazz Festival 2024 - Eighth Note magazine cover featuring a drawing of woman playing a saxophone

Lucy Swift, who was also among the group of students who worked on the magazine, said: “Creating Eighth Note was such a different experience to making your own magazine. It’s great to be helpful by doing something you’re good at and enjoy, with a client happy with your work at the end.

“Turning ideas into a magazine is such a great process, and it makes you feel proud at the end. Having such a big platform on which to show your work is a bonus too.”

Students from music-related degree programmes at the University, including BA (Hons) Sound and Music Production and BA (Hons) Music Business, will work in volunteer roles alongside industry professionals to gain new skills and knowledge as sound technicians, lighting technicians and event managers.

Students from the University’s BA (Hons) Popular Music programme – which is headed up by Course Lead, Mark Daman Thomas, from the critically acclaimed band Islet – will perform with their bands as part of the festival’s vibrant ‘Around Town’ programme.

The live performers also include Popular Music lecturers from the University, with Gary-Martin Rolinson playing a live electronic set under his artist moniker, Jack of the Suburbs, Andrew Lansley appearing with his band Thrill Collins, and Tom Spice set to give a solo acoustic show.

Dr Matthew Lovett, Associate Head of the University’s School of Creative Arts, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that so many of our students will have these great opportunities to build on their academic learning at the 2024 Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

“Working alongside experienced professionals in a real-world environment is a massive benefit to students’ development in preparing them for rewarding and successful careers in their chosen industry.

“We’re hugely excited that many of our students and staff will be performing live at the festival, with their friends and colleagues sure to be heading their way to enjoy their fantastic music and provide lots of encouragement.”

Ian George, Co-CEO Cheltenham Festivals, said: “Every year, Cheltenham Jazz Festival celebrates the amazing breadth of music that has been influenced by jazz. Part of that is always about looking to the future of the music and live events, working with our local communities, and bringing new voices and the next generation along with us.

“That’s why working with University of Gloucestershire’s students and staff is so important. From performing on our Free Stage to promoting our Big Top headliners, their input is all about the future.”

Main image: The Ezra Collective performing at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (photo credit: Still Moving Media)