JAMES and the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College are proud to announce the launch of the ‘JAMES Orchestral Recording Sessions’. The 2018 inaugural event will offer post-graduate students practical training and ‘live’ recording experience with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra.

Based on the proven format of the Gus Dudgeon Foundation and JAMES Summer Course, students from JAMES accredited university courses are selected to work with industry professionals to experience the recording and mixing process in a real-life situation.

Hosted by West Suffolk College, the five day course beginning on Thursday 28 June 2018 will be made up of -
* two days of orchestral recording preparation at University of Suffolk, Atrium Building.
* one day recording the rehearsal and concert of the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra at The Apex live venue, Bury St Edmunds.
* one day recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford.
* one day at University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College mixing an orchestral recording.

Andrea Healy, Programme Director ‘BA (Hons) Creative and Commercial Music’ for the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College commented, “We initiated a recording partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Community and Education team in 2013 and now have a wonderful working relationship with them. They push innovative boundaries in music education. They allow recordings at venues all over the country as a valuable learning and industry experience for our degree students. Colleague Gary Kelly shares his orchestral mixing and listening skills. It is a great pleasure to work with JAMES to widen this industry opportunity for these students."

Lisa Rodio, Community & Education Project Manager with the RPO said, “We are delighted to offer these opportunities to students as part of our commitment to developing the next generation of industry professionals. University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College’s BA (Hons) Creative and Commercial Music degree is dedicated to offering students invaluable opportunities to work in real-life, professional environments. This new partnership with JAMES will help us to reach an even wider range of students interested in exploring pathways into the creative industries.”

An exciting bonus is that Suffolk graduate George Wilson will be having his dissertation orchestral composition played by the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra performance on the Saturday.

JAMES is extremely pleased to be working with the Community and Education team of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College who all agreed to be part of this unique experience for post-graduate students.

And many thanks to our sponsors Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH and Sonnox who have contributed packages of Cubase Pro 9.5 and Dorico Pro 2, and Native Elite Collection and a Native Essential bundle respectively as student prizes.
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Recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Click above to read the full feature as published in Resolution magazine.

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The full Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Cadogan Hall, London

The intricacies of orchestral concert workflow from concept to conclusion are not easy to research, but the ‘JAMES Orchestral Recording Sessions’ explores them all.
Andrea Healy, Programme Director, University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College
"The main thing I think I'm going to take away are the transferable skills, for example having the confidence to try new techniques and working and communicating with other people."
- Brandon, Perth College UHI
"This is so much more high-paced than what I'm used to, and this is the first live recording I've ever done. From this, I'd definitely like to get more involved with live recording."
- Lauren, UCLAN
"… so the opportunity to be able to work with people who are taking totally different courses, to hear what they say, share ideas, talk about sound is amazing."
- Micheal, Abertay University
"It's given me the confidence to get into the industry, and to look at live sound rather than the studio-based option."
Amy, University of Hertfordshire
"Interesting to see the orchestra as a whole but also to pick out individual elements with different mic techniques."
- Tom, De Montfort, Leicester
"This has been hands-down the most positive learning environment that I've been in over the last two to three years. We've been dropped into the real world."
- Harry, Anglia Ruskin University
The Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra plays composition 'F-Leit of the Motif' written by BA (Hons) Creative and Commercial Music student George Wilson from University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College. Performed as part of the 2018 JAMES Orchestral Recording Sessions.
DAY FIVE - 02.07.2018
Last day! Composer George Wilson (centre left), Music Production BA (Hons) graduate from the University of Suffolk with Leslie Olive (centre right), Conductor of Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra and the 'JAMES Orchestral Recording Session' students in Studio 2 after the mixing session. Andrea Healy, Programme Leader pictured right.

Below are prize winners from the five day course. Also, Isaac Espinaco, Amy Ho, Michael Shaw, Harry Knight, Robert Simcox and Josh Gwilt were all awarded a copy of AVID Pro Tools Ultimate.

But let's face its… everyone has been a winner on this course!
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Principal of West Suffolk College Nikos Savvas awards Brandon Wilkins from Perth College UHI his prize of a Sonnox Elite bundle.

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Principal of West Suffolk College Nikos​ Savvas awards Lauren Simm from University of Central Lancashire a Sonnox Essentials plugin bundle​.

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Phil Harding JAMES Vice Chair awards Josh Whittaker from Leeds Beckett Steinberg Dorico Pro 2 scoring software.

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Phil Harding JAMES Vice Chair awards​ Tom Snell from De Montfort University Steinberg Cubase Pro 9.5.

DAYS ONE + TWO- 28.06.2018
All students have safely arrived! First day went really well, all students really working together and totally engaged! Photos below - Team Elgar mic planning for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert on Sunday.
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DAY THREE - 30.06.2018
Recording the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

Photo opposite - Everything seems to be under control here then!
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Getting to grips with video as well
as audio!

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Ready to mic up!

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Let’s lay cables.

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Pro Tools session set up and
under way

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The Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra perform a score composed by University of Suffolk's own truly talented George Wilson.

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By his smile, things are still going well!

DAY FOUR - 1.07.2018
Recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Orchard Theatre in Dartford.
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Instruments arrive whilst we get ready to fly the microphones.

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Mic placement in front of conductor.

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Tony from JAMES, Andrea and Gary from University of Suffolk.

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Busy, busy, busy…

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Set-up done, 62 members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra rehearse with Nathan Fifield conducting.


Michael James Shaw

Abertay University
“Michael has demonstrated an impressive range of skills throughout his studies and final project. He is a highly motivated and reliable student that will be a great addition to the project. ” - Christos Michalakos, Programme Leader, Abertay.

Harry Knight
Anglia Ruskin University
“Harry has contributed hugely to the life of the AMT society at ARU. During his studies, he has demonstrated a keen enthusiasm and ability in the realm of live sound – operating not only as a very active AMT Soc. member, but also as a free-lancing professional. Harry endevours to engage with all things sound: Game Jams, Gigs, Theatre work – the list goes on. This nomination is in recognition of Harry’s contribution to the live sound scene in Cambridge and beyond.” - Stephen Oxnard, Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin.

Joshua Gwilt
Bournemouth University
“Joshua has performed extremely well throughout his degree studies, including their Final Year Project and in the Recording & Acoustics unit, which focuses on live ensemble recording. I think they would benefit hugely from taking part in the course.” - Ambrose Seddan, Programme Leader, Bournemouth.

Tom Snell
Leicester Media School - De Montfort University
“Tom has been dedicated in his commitment to bettering himself as an audio engineer from the first day of starting the course. Self-directed in locating opportunities to develop his audio skills he has already achieve engineering credits on commercial releases. ” - Thom Corah, Senior Lecturer, De Montfort.

Amy Ho
University of Hertfordshire
“Amy demonstrates great attention to detail. She is both technically and creatively strong, and confidently looks for opportunities to collaborate with others, bringing her sound design to other creative industries. Amy has been an excellent student throughout her time at UH, where she has also represented her cohort as a student rep, acted as a student ambassador, and also taken a sandwich year to study aboard in South Korea and Japan. She is in my opinion, an excellent candidate for the JAMES Orchestral Recording Sessions Summer School.” - Alex Baxter, Programme Leader, Hertfordshire.
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Lauren Simm from University of Central Lancashire

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Brandon Wilkins from Perth UHI

Steinberg are delighted to be supporting the 'JAMES Orchestral Recording Sessions'. This is an extremely exciting event that promises to help launch the careers of several post-graduate students. Our Cubase and Dorico software programs are used by professionals around the world and we hope they will aid the creative flair of these aspiring musicians. We are proud to be part of this ground breaking initiative.
Richard Llewellyn, Education Manager, Steinberg
Josh Whittaker
Leeds Beckett University
“Josh is an excellent student, reliable, diligent and able to self-direct fantastically. This opportunity is absolutely perfect for Josh, as for his final year project he undertook the recording of two large ensembles – Leeds Jazz Orchestra, and Harrogate Symphony Orchestra, undertaking all the relevant logistics of pre-production and onsite location. For Josh to get the experience of working with professional musicians / orchestra, and high level of skills specific to this task would be an amazing opportunity for him that I am confident he will make the most of.” - Samuel Nicholls, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Beckett.

Brandon Wilkins
University of the Highlands and Islands - Perth College
“Brandon is an excellent student who regularly scores highest in every assignment. I feel that this opportunity would reward Brandon for all his hard work over the course of the programme.” - David Paterson, Programme Leader, UHI

Robert Simcox
University of Portsmouth
“Robert has consistently achieved excellent grades in his audio and production work. He has a mature approach, works hard and develops successful working relationships with peers and staff. He has a particular interest in location recording and would enjoy and greatly benefit from this opportunity.” - Mark Sexton, Course Leader, Portsmouth.

Lauren Simm
University of Central Lancashire
“Outstanding engagement.” - John Lacy, Course Leader, UCLAN

Issac Roman Espinaco
University of the West of England Bristol
“Isaac is a very focused student with experience of live sound and theatre sound. He has a keen enthusiasm for learning the techniques and artistry of recording and mixing across the wide-ranging sound disciplines and a maturity to understand how all of the facets of creative sound mixing and recording fit together.” - Martyn Harries, Senior Lecturer, UWE.