Degree Title: BA (Hons) Music
Year of Graduation: 2011
Post-Graduation Qualifications: MMus Ethnomusicology, School of Oriental and African Studies, London
Occupation: Assistant Artist Manager, Rayfield Allied, London
Newcastle University music department offers a huge variety of musical opportunities. It is a welcoming and engaging department that allows you to develop different musical tastes. The staff are very approachable and offer a wide range of lectures and specialist knowledge.
What I liked most was the music common room – which I now see as a vital asset to the department. The whole music department thrived and intermingled in the common room, allowing you to meet all your fellow music students. This is absolutely vital in a music degree and creates a vibrant environment in which to study.
Of course, the city of Newcastle also has a thriving music scene. Both city and university interlink and it was great to feel part of the city as a whole.
I work as an Assistant Artist Manager at Rayfield Allied, one of the artist management companies in London. The job is very varied as the company works with a large number of artists, from composers and conductors to opera singers and stage directors.
It is our job to represent the artist throughout an engagement, from the management of diaries to the issuing of contracts and the arrangement of logistical requirements, constantly liaising with promoters and artists alike. Each engagement develops an artist’s career.
It is interesting to see the connections between opera houses and art festivals worldwide. I particularly enjoy working with different artists and promoters internationally. Of course, one of the highlights involves attending the performances!
How your degree prepared you for your career
Even though the working world is full of challenges, I did feel well prepared by my degree at Newcastle University. Throughout my academic life, I was constantly involved in extra-curricular activities which gave me an insight into the music industry as a whole. I developed a wide knowledge, especially through the Opera module, which I still find very useful – particularly in my line of work.
I always knew I wanted to be in the music world – either as a performer or as an artistic manager. I have always been very interested in orchestras and festivals and I am thrilled that my first job provides such a great foundation on which to build.
Advice for a 16-18 year old considering a music degree
Music is a highly versatile subject and can open so many doors. Remember that music is not only the study of notes on the paper – it is so much more than that.