“Backstage was born out of the need for personnel,” says Miles Marsden, Industry Partnerships Director at Backstage Academy. “We had built Studio 001 at Production Park, but we were finding that people were disappearing on tours all the time. We decided to grow our own staff, one that is passionate about educating the next generation and would allow us to bring new blood into an industry that was quite mature. When today’s 50- and 60-years olds, who tend to be the leaders of this industry now, started on this journey, it was very amateurish. Now it has developed and professionalised. Backstage Academy is a great example of that.”
Speaking about the new partnership with Sennhesier, Frazer Gall, the Academy’s live events production lecturer, said, “The main value is that students get a wide range of microphones that don’t just show them one path, but the variety of different types of mic sub-categories available. Sennheiser is one of the biggest microphones and headphones manufacturers in the world, so it gives students a chance to use the equipment they’re likely to be using from the outset when they walk into their jobs. I don’t know any hire company that I have worked with that doesn’t stock some form of Sennheiser product.”
Students will also receive important exposure to the knowledge and experience of the Sennheiser team, who work closely with Backstage Academy. “We think it is very important to make the students aware of the range of job roles that are available because most of students come saying, ‘I’d like to do FOH sound’, or ‘I want to be a lighting or video designer’,” said Gall.
“Obviously, there is a much wider range of jobs that also includes after-sales support, manufacturing, and R&D, so it is great working with Sennheiser, as students get direct exposure to its staff and become further aware of a company’s internal structure and job roles.”
As part of the long-term loan agreement, Sennheiser supplied a mixture of evolution wireless G3 and G4 systems as well as IEMs “with a view that this will benefit students by them getting experience with a wide range of microphones for different scenarios and applications”.