Royal Birmingham Conservatoire announces jazz vocalist Sara Colman as first Recording Artist in Residence


Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is set to become the first institution of its kind to host a Recording Artist in Residence, as the music and acting college prepares to welcome renowned jazz vocalist Sara Colman for a yearlong residency.

Sara will join up with the Conservatoire’s Music Technology department to start the scheme, which will see her offer students advice and support during their studies over the next 12 months.

Conservatoire Courses

Birmingham City University

Students will be handed the opportunity to work alongside Sara and a range of professional musicians on a variety of projects which will be released throughout the year.

Activities include a live-streamed recording of one of her performances, a community gospel choir recording, and a duo album project with acclaimed jazz pianist Rebecca Nash.

Over the last 20 years, Sara’s career has seen her work with leading lights of British music including Liane Carroll, Sophie Bancroft and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire graduate Laura Mvula.

She has built a reputation as a composer and songwriter as well as a jazz vocalist.

Sara will mark the beginning of the programme with a special concert in the Conservatoire’s Eastside Jazz Club today (Thursday 28 February).

The partnership is believed to be the first time a UK conservatoire has housed a Recording Artist in Residence and will help equip the institution’s students with hands-on experience of working with a professional performer and composer.

Sara Colman said: “We recorded strings and piano for my latest album in Studio 1 so I have good idea of the superb quality here and I’m really excited to record in all the different spaces.

“We’ll be working with all sorts of musical combinations and ensembles from solo piano with voice to jazz orchestra with vocal ensemble.

Her residency will see her make use of the state-of-the-art facilities at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s home in Birmingham’s Eastside, and allow Music Technology students to apply their skills in real-world scenarios.

The young people will work in professional settings alongside the experienced recording artist through the year, and work with a wide range of musicians and instruments from a number of different disciplines.

The experience will give students direct insight into working alongside musicians and the personal skills required to make the most of the process, as well as allowing a more direct view of the recording process and the stages of production.

Sara has produced a number of studio albums including the recently released ‘What We’re Made OF’ which has had airtime on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4.

Simon Hall, Head of Music technology at Birmingham City University, said: “We are very lucky to have Sara Colman as our first Recording Artist in Residence. Sara is an exceptional singer-songwriter and composer who has been a vocal tutor here in the jazz department for some years and is also an honorary fellow and alumni of the Conservatoire. 

“Sara has been recording for more than twenty years both as a session musician and as a band leader and brings a wealth of invaluable experience.”

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