JAMES | Summer Schools


At JAMES, we realised many of the courses we inspected were missing the challenge of requiring students to work alongside people they had never met before in facilities they had never seen before and with an artist they had never heard before. And they had to DELIVER!
So in 2010, in collaboration with the Gus Dudgeon Foundation (GDF), JAMES organised - for some of the best hand picked students from across our accredited courses - to spend a week working with an experienced engineer / producer, recording an artist they had never previously met.

"Gus" Dudgeon was a pioneering record producer in the 1970s, who oversaw many of Elton John's most acclaimed recordings. Their collaboration led to seven US No. 1 albums, and established Elton John as the most successful singles artist of the ‘70s.
ken scott and students

Ken Scott and students during GDF Summer School 2018
at Leeds Beckett University

Gus Dudgeon also produced Chris Rea's first hit, Fool (If You Think It's Over), and David Bowie's Space Oddity, and steered many other artists to chart success, including Joan Armatrading and Elkie Brooks. The Guinness Book of Records cites Gus as being the first person to use sampling in music production.

Gus was also a founding member of the Music Producers Guild (MPG), the organisation that alongside the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS) were responsible for the birth of JAMES. In 2009, the MCI mixing console, the 24 track analogue tape recorder and some of the outboard equipment Gus used at ‘Mill Studios’ in Berkshire had been installed as a working studio facility at the University of Glamorgan, [now the University of South Wales]. The studio was opened, attended by Joan Armatrading with a video message from Elton John, and so became the perfect legacy location to run the first GDF / JAMES Summer School. All the costs of running the event being funded by those organisations.

The first event was a huge success and immediately became an annual favourite, the demand being so high that in some years two events are organised.

See more detail from past events here…