US trip for University of Chichester students

A group of music students from the University of Chichester are heading off to make music in California at the start of a major new collaboration.

Laura Ritchie, teaching fellow in music and coordinator of instrumental/vocal teaching and MA performance, is hoping the idea under the name Musicquality will have plenty of ramifications and sequels.

Heading for the US

Heading for the US

In the first instance, an album will be the result. The first trip runs from May 20-27.

“This is the first iteration, but it will continue in many different settings,” she said.

“I run the instrumental and vocal teaching programmes, and five of my students, who are in the third year, and I are going to California this May. This is a project outside the official university curriculum. It’s outside of the term time, just after their finals, and it’s a collaboration with schools and universities in California.

“It all came out of a sort of dream idea between myself and three other teachers, two university professors, one an architecture one in California, a photography professor in Coventry and an English teacher in Righetti High School (two and a half hours north of Los Angeles).

“His students and my students started working together, and there was all sorts of cross-pollination between and amongst the students, and this began to be a real manifestation of an organic open-sourced learning where people were inspired to work with each other, to develop their talents and grow.

“His class decided they would take their learning outside the classroom and make a four-day trip to the Nature Bridge Park which is at the edge of Yosemite National Park in California. They invited us to be part of it, so I said I could come along, and then my students wanted to come, so I said ‘Let’s make it happen’.

“It was short notice. It was only a few months away. So I stumped up and I bought their plane tickets on my credit card, and my husband didn’t thank me! But I said actually ‘We can do this!’ They had to fundraise, and I am very pleased to say they paid me back. They raised in three and a half weeks just under £3,000 that has gone into the bank, and there is more money pledged

“To make this collaboration real, they have a dream that we want to raise £10,000 which allows them to pay all costs and have decent equipment because one of the projects they want to do when they are over there is to make an album with these kids who are from north of LA. They are going to help them realise their musical dreams, collaborate, bring inspiration, and we are going to make some digital tracks that will be available for everyone to download for free after we come back, no cost to anybody. My lot are going to work with them,” Laura added. “They will use the skills they have developed to record the music.”

More details from the university.