DateMay 19, 2020
Budding performing arts professionals have been given a boost after a former competitor on TV’s ‘The Voice’ made a Zoom call to their virtual college group. Singer Letitia George, who was part of Team Ricky in Series 4 of the popular BBC show, hosted a live Q&A for students on the HND Performing Arts course at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.Letitia, from Coventry, has been touring the UK with her live show, a tribute to Aretha Franklin, and is also a radio presenter for BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. Letitia rose to fame after featuring on BBC 1’s The Voice UK where she won through to the knockout rounds. As well as performing solo, Letitia also works with a high-profile backing band.Performing arts tutor Gary Lincoln, who taught Letitia when she started out in the music industry, said, “I am really grateful to Letitia for taking the time to talk to my students about her journey in the entertainments industry. I know that Letitia has worked relentlessly hard over many years to get where she is now, and it takes grit and determination to achieve success in this business.
“I am always looking for ways to open students’ eyes to the many alternative routes that they could consider in the performing arts sector, helping them to understand the broadest possible range of career options. It is always instructive for them to hear from someone who is successful in the industry, and to understand the sacrifices they have made and the hurdles they have overcome to achieve their goals.”
The college’s Hinckley Campus is currently closed to students, but Gary has been impressed with the way in which his students have quickly adapted to learning under lockdown. He said, “We have been using technology a lot more and I have been learning from them. We are using Zoom, YouTube, and the HND Facebook group and it has really helped everyone’s morale to be able to keep in touch.”With live performances on hold, students have been getting together virtually to read through a play that they have written together. They also devised a Dragons’ Den-style pitch for an idea to turn the college campus into an immersive 1940s-themed visitor experience to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Gary Lincoln added, “We watch theatre performances on YouTube, and then hold seminars on each one. To make it fun, we get dressed up, just like we would when going to see live theatre, and students post pictures on their Facebook page. It helps to bring them back together and it’s great see their families, and even pets, getting involved.” Students enjoyed plenty of laughter during an hour-long Zoom call with Letitia who revealed what happens behind-the-scenes on TV.
The college remains partially open at its Nuneaton Campus to support the children of keyworkers, those with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), students in local authority care, and other students that are known to be vulnerable. Students who are not attending college, including adults studying for qualifications, have been provided with study packs and their tutors are keeping in touch to check progress and provide support where required. Every effort is being made to help these students complete their courses and achieve their qualifications by the end of the summer term. All prospective students who have applied to start a college course in September 2020 have been assured that they will have a place at the college. NWSLC remains very keen to hear from students still wishing to apply for college places for next year.
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “Every day I hear about new and creative ways in which our students are engaging with their learning during the lockdown period. It is fantastic that Gary has been able to organise such a useful experience and I hope that Letitia’s advice has given the performing arts students plenty of food for thought and inspiration for their future careers.”
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