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Students from the Academy of Contemporary Music impress the Drifters with their vocal talent at a Masterclass event…

On November 4th, iconic vocal group The Drifters gave ACM students a unique educational experience in the form of a performance and masterclass. In addition to this, lucky competition winner and Degree vocalist Ginnie Breakwell got the chance to perform alongside the group which was broadcast on local radio station 96.4 Eagle Radio.

The day kicked off with a masterclass from Drifter Michael Williams, alongside musical director Dan Healey and manager Kathy Mashadi. Running as a Q & A format, the session was hosted by the Academy’s Head of Creative Industry Development – Ace (guitar & backing vocals in Skunk Anansie). As part of the class, Michael Williams gave a performance of Saturday Night At The Movies with some help on backing vocals from students, Sarah Martin, Eleanor Martin and Rhys Wilson. The students were quite nervous at the prospect of performing alongside the legendary Drifter, but their practice paid off and the performance went without a hitch! Manager Kathy Mashadi was so impressed at their performance, she invited the students to come and perform live with The Drifters at their upcoming show in Croydon.

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“The Drifters masterclass and recording day here at ACM was a complete success. The Drifters were accommodating and inspirational to the students, with their talent, experience and all round accessibility.”
Ace, Head of Creative Industry Development.

The Drifters were blown away by the facilities at ACM and were eager to get started with their session in the colleges ‘Teaching Control’ studio. Competition winner Ginnie Breakwell and Michael Williams went into a practice room to warm up their vocals and the engineer quickly set up the session. Once together, Ginnie and The Drifters took only two takes to lay down an incredible version of Saturday Night at the Movies. The Drifters then went on to perform two more tracks followed by an interview with Ginnie for 96.4 Eagle. The interview and song were then played on the Showbiz Saturday Show presented by Kim Robson.

“My family have always been huge fans of the Drifters, so when I heard about them coming in, I had to audition. The competition was tough and I was thrilled to have been chosen as the winner. My tutor Jono McNeil was a huge help in preparing for my performance and whilst I was incredibly nervous on the day, I am really pleased with how the track turned out. I was thrilled when they asked us back to sing with them on their UK tour date in Croydon!”
Ginnie Breakwell, Second Year Vocal Degree Student.

drifters ginnie studio