Josh graduated in 2014 (BMus Music), and now works as a freelance conductor, composer and orchestrator in London. He currently works as an associate director in the West End.
What was the best part of your degree?
“I was able to tailor my course to suit my interests. The sense of community within the department and between course mates added to my enjoyment of my time at university. When you’re working with your closest friends, you’re all in the same boat, striving towards the same goal and doing it because of a passion for the craft. There’s just no other experience like it, it doesn't really get any better than that.”
How did studying at Birmingham help you in your career?
“Thanks to being able to pick and choose what I wanted to specialise in, I was able to focus my efforts on conducting, which prepared me for my career as a musical director. The level of expertise and coaching given by the tutors also meant that I received high quality tuition, and I believe that this has placed me in good stead long-term.
“I was heavily involved in the music and drama scenes at Birmingham – especially the musical theatre society. I was able to gain experience and develop my craft in conjunction with the tuition I was receiving on the course and, upon graduation, left with enough skills to be able to pursue my chosen profession with confidence. It took a while to get started, as a career as a professional musician (especially a freelance one!) is very difficult, but I certainly wouldn't have got where I am now if I hadn't had the help from studying at Birmingham.”
What is the best thing about your job?
“The social aspect and working with like-minded people! Collaborating with fellow artists who think the same way and have the same interests as you is incredibly fulfilling, and I get to play great music and perform with great talent on a daily basis.”
What advice would you give to current students?
“Pursue everything and anything you can, and really make the most of your time at university. Even if something doesn't instantly interest you, give it a go - you may find that it can be incredibly rewarding and good fun! I believe that it's important to develop as many skills as you possibly can and have plenty of strings to your bow.”