Awards Day 2022: Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

On Sunday 17 July 2022 we were thrilled to host our first in person Awards Day since 2019 (after hosting an online Awards Day with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2021 due to the national lockdown) at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA). This was a smaller scale event than previous Awards Days, targeted specifically at songwriters, producers and pop and rock instrumentalists: a recent area of growth and development for the Awards Programme.

LIPA provided the venue and all artistic delivery for the day. The young people chose to take part in one of three activities: song-writing, music production or instrumental workshops. Award winners also had the chance to showcase their music at an informal open mic performance during the lunch break. Additionally, we held a session for parents/carers, giving them an opportunity to find out more about how they can support their child’s music making.


The sessions were led by vocalist and songwriter Blas Barragan. He guided the participants throughsong-writing activities and the group co-wrote and performed a song together in the afternoon. Some members of the group played instruments whilst others chose to sing.

“The part of the day that I enjoyed the most was when we were given a selection of six chords and were told to write a song with those chords. I enjoyed sharing ideas and creating music with the other amazing minds in my group. It allowed to me to explore other techniques and styles of music I wouldn’t usually play.” Veronica, 17, piano and guitar, Hampshire

Music production

Workshops were led by Alex Germains from LIPA and supported by Max Wheeler (our Production adjudicator) and Tommy Khosla (AYM Alumnus). In the morning the group split into two and worked in a studio to learn how to record samples of sounds and melodies played on instruments represented in the group. In the afternoon the groups worked in two Mac suites using the software Logic Pro. They used the samples recorded in the morning to build this into their own composition.

“The best thing about the day was the tips and info I got from the LIPA student about using Logic to score to video, and then from Max about publicising my music.” Gus, 18, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Bristol

Instrumental Groups

This group was led by Alumni from LIPA plus support in the afternoon from AYM Alumna Maddy Salter (guitar). The instrumentalists split into two rehearsal studios. In the morning each young person performed for the group and received feedback and from the leaders and other young musicians. In the afternoon each group formed a band and arranged a version of Steve Wonder’s “Isn’t she lovely.”

“The LIPA students were kind and supportive and I felt taken care of. They were so much fun too. I learnt some cool new rhythms that involved paradiddles and foot patterns.” Joshua, 16, multi-instrumentalist and composter, Bridport

Open Mic performances

9 young people signed up to perform in the open mic which took place whilst everyone was eating lunch in the main ‘hangout’ area. Performances ranged from pop song covers, to metal guitar solos and la live improvised beat-making.

“I loved the open mic because I got to show something I really like doing as an individual.” Jaime, 16, piano, Lincolnshire

Sessions for parents/carers

  • Demystifying student finance: A presentation by Ben Leventhall about student finance options and breaking down the process
  • Higher education decisions: A panel consisting of two AYM Alumni (Maddy Salter and Tommy Khosla) and LIPA Students. Each shared their experience of their own education and how they chose to study where the did. This was followed by a Q and A which focussed on pathways into professional work.
  • Open question time: Parents were particularly keen to share ideas about supporting their child to promote themselves on social media and how to support young producers to work collaboratively and ‘get out of their bedroom studio.’

“I found it really useful to talk to the two LIPA students I chatted with, they gave me loads of useful information about what it was like studying a music degree, and about making a career in composition/production. I also found hearing from the AYM alumni very interesting and informative”. Mother of Gus, 18, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Bristol

Our next Awards Day

Thank you to LIPA for a wonderful day. Their ethos and the culture of the organisation fitted very well with our own and the open mic demonstrated that there is a great desire for our young people to perform for each other.

Our next Awards Day of the year will take place in December 2022. We will once again partner with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios in London. We’re delighted to be working with two special guests: AYM’s Patron, the renowned conductor Alpesh Chauhan (who will lead side by side rehearsals with the Award winners and the BBCSO) and AYM’s Trustee, the singer, cellist and composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson who will lead a series of musical activities.

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