Music college in Sheffield is filling the scene with new talent

Students have performed everywhere from Corporation and the Sheffield Food Festival to Sidney & Matilda. Some will play at Tramlines and the Peddler Market this summer.

WaterBear first opened in Sheffield last year and has quickly become a hub for new musicians and events. Founded by Adam Bushell and Bruce John Dickinson, the college is part of a new wave of music schools offering MA and BA degrees aimed at creating professional musicians.

water bear fresherswater bear freshers

In the first year of its opening alone, the school has produced a number of rising stars to watch out for. Including hip-hop artist Kid Blu3, who has performed live for BBC Introducing, and Alice Ede, part of the Leadmill Orchestra, will both perform at Tramlines in July. Many of the students will also volunteer at the upcoming Migration Matters Festival.

Students are also encouraged to organize their own music events, showcasing their talents and those of others. Jay Hargreaves, who is studying Professional Music Performance, has joined three different bands as well as starting his own student night in Sheffield.

Frankie Beetlestone at WaterBear FreshersFrankie Beetlestone at WaterBear Freshers

Owen Miles, who started his own DJ night while studying Professional Music Business, said: “I have been shocked at least a hundred times over by the connections with the music industry and the people. It’s a great environment.”

Lily Hill, who studied songwriting, described the environment as very community-oriented: “I think the best thing about WaterBear is that it is so community driven. Everyone helps everyone, and the feeling you get when you walk through the door is one of constant support.”

Jeremy Pritchard Water BearJeremy Pritchard Water Bear

It’s a sentiment echoed by Cameron Scott; guitarist of the band H-Sharp and student, who added: “Since I started WaterBear I have had many opportunities including gigs, studio time and practice sessions in addition to masterclasses on the music industry… It is an amazing feeling to be surrounded by a truly a close-knit musical community every day. You feed each other, inspire each other to be better, surrounded by all these people doing the same things.”

The council expects the influx to double next year. More information and course details can be found on the Water Bear website.