Professional musician Nicola Bridges has starred on stage and performed her own cabaret show, but decided to head back to the classroom at Northampton College to add another string to her bow. The self-taught former holiday camp singer, aged 39, started an HND course in music production and is now looking forward to putting what she has learnt into practice.
She said: “I’ve always worked as a musician but I’d never studied it. Coming to college has helped fill in the gaps in my knowledge and it’s incredible to think how much I’ve learnt in such a short space of time. I look back at the way I used to record my own stuff, which I thought was good, and now I can see where I was going wrong. I’m much more aware now of the techniques I need to be employing to make my tracks sound the best they possibly can. Coming back into education after such a long time away from a classroom environment has been a challenge, it really takes you out of your comfort zone, but I’m delighted with the way things have gone and I’m really looking forward to using what I’ve learnt to help me teach kids in the future and also in my own recording career.”
Aspiring hat maker Melissa Mehrtens won the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge having studied on an HE course at Northampton College.
The millinery student was named the overall winner of an international competition organised by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London.
The 17-year-old, who cites Alexander McQueen as her design hero, scooped the £1,200 first prize and was given a work experience placement with Rachel Trevor Morgan, the Mayfair-based milliner to the Duchess of Cambridge.
She said: "The chance to design and make hats was one of the main reasons I came to Northampton College as I really wanted to learn new skills. I absolutely love it and to win the competition was amazing."
The College’s fashion department offers state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, giving students all the tools they need to embrace their creativity and bring their ideas to life.
The facilities include embroidery machines, lock stitch machines, a professional millinery steamer, a flat steam press and fusing press and a wide range of wooden brim and crown blocks.
For more information about the HE courses on offer at Northampton College visit http://www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk/courses.html