London College of Music
Samuel John’s story - from customer to scholar
Having trained as an orchestral percussionist in my youth, I have been aware of Bell Music (previously Bell Percussion) for over 20 years. The music school I studied with, Berkshire Young Musicians Trust (BYMT) - now known as Berkshire Maestros - sourced many of their instruments from Bell, and I had personally visited their shop several times in my early teens to buy cymbals and other small percussion instruments.
What I didn’t know then is that some 20 years later - having moved from being a live performer to a music producer - Bell would again play a part in my musical journey.
In 2015, I enrolled at the London College of Music to do a BA in Music Technology. In the first year of the course I was given the opportunity to compose music to picture. This has turned out to be a watershed moment for me. Not only was this something I found immensely enjoyable, it become clear that it was something I had a natural aptitude for.
Composing for media quickly became my focus, and I began working with MA students from the university’s film school, scoring dramas and experimental films and trailers.
With the support from my mentors and tutors, I chose to specialise in Media Composition in my final year, and in the final semester I won the 2018 Music Technology Award, given to the highest scoring music technology student alongside the Bell Music Scholarship.
Receiving both awards on the same day was an extremely proud moment for me. It was a great feeling to be recognised for my talent, skills, and all the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my studies. The opportunity to meet team members from Bell at the donors and scholars’ reception enabled me to thank them personally for their generous support.
With graduation coming up in mid-July, I’m starting to roll out my plans for the summer and beyond. For the last month or so I’ve been very busy composing music for TV ad agencies, and have recently been hired by an international team of filmmakers to score a feature-length indie documentary.
I’m applying to do a Masters in Film Composition next year, something that may not have been possible without the generous support provided by Bell Music.
With graduation just a few weeks away, my plate is already looking pretty full for the foreseeable future. I’m excited by the prospects the future holds for me and look forward to reporting back as my story unfolds.