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Music student pulls strings to win competition

Jonathan MacneilA talented student composer has won industry recognition for his original take on a promotional video soundtrack.

Second year Music, Sound, Enterprise student Jonathan Macneil was the inaugural winner of a competition established by award-winning corporate video production company, Studio Rossiter, designed to test students’ skills and prepare them for employment.

The brief was to produce an original score for an existing Mitsubishi advert, created by Skelmersdale-based Studio Rossiter, aimed at promoting their fund management services. Entrants were asked to produce a piece of music that would “inspire and uplift, and build a feeling of trust”.

Jonathan Macneil studio

“For me, the brief screamed ‘orchestra’,” said Burscough-born Jonathan, who taught himself to play the guitar aged 16. “You can get a great sense of build with an orchestra, so I started messing about with software strings, layering instruments until I had something I felt reflected the brief.”

 

Managing Director, Kevin Rossiter, praised the winning entry, saying:

I warmed to the mood immediately… I liked Jonathan’s use of an orchestral solution, then applying his loop production knowledge to pull it off – with added flourishes here and there, yet all with restraint. He well deserves his prize for the effort he put in, on a task that many others wouldn’t have had the courage to even try.”

Before enrolling on the Music, Sound, Enterprise course, Jonathan spent two years studying at the prestigious Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California, where he developed his skills as a guitarist and composer. He returned to the UK in 2010 to join up-and-coming band The Way, who released an album and follow-up EP, as well as a charity cover of Ed Sheeran’s A Team to raise money for the Ruby Owen Appeal.

He said:

I decided to do a degree at Edge Hill because I wanted to improve as a composer, and I felt I needed that technical and theoretical knowledge of music to back up my creative work.

In Creative Edge there are some of the best facilities for making and recording music, and there are lots of opportunities to meet and learn from people who work in the music industry as part of the course.”

“The Studio Rossiter competition gave me the chance to see what it’s really like to work as a commercial composer,” added Jonathan. “Kevin Rossiter gave me some really useful feedback on my submission and also introduced me to work by a range of composers that I wasn’t aware of previously. It’s been a great experience, and will hopefully make my CV stand out when it comes to looking for jobs next year.”

Dr Richard Witts, Reader in Music and Sound, who worked with Studio Rossiter on the competition, said:

Jonathan is one of our most versatile composers who also plays in a rock group – and that flexibility is something we aim for at Edge Hill. It’s wonderful when our students’ work gets heard beyond the campus. In Jonathan’s case it’s not only heard but recognised, appreciated and rewarded.”

Kevin Rossiter added: “We’re delighted to be working with Edge Hill University to develop our local video production community. The facilities at Creative Edge are very impressive and Edge Hill is producing some outstanding graduates, including Shane Green, a 2013 graduate, who joined us a year ago. He is a talented, effective video editor with responsibility for editing the Lidl and British Gas accounts, among others.”

View the video.