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Dorset Wide Testimonials | A Levels

Laura decided that a levels were right for her…

Professional Musician AKA 'Lovely Laura'

career journey

The Sir John Colfox Academy, Bridport

A-level Music & Jazz Diploma at Weymouth College

BA in Jazz Studies at Leeds College of Music

I came to Weymouth College from John Colfox, Bridport. Whilst at Weymouth College I studied A-level Music combined with the Jazz Diploma course. I successfully completed both these courses which led to my acceptance on the BA course in Jazz studies at the Leeds College of Music. Having the chance to study further afield opens up other horizons and brings greater opportunities, whilst networking and studying with other likeminded people. Thanks to Weymouth College I was able to do just that.

The biggest thing for me at college was the confidence I gained whilst studying there. I am now a self-employed musician under the name of ‘Lovely Laura’ with a successful career in music. My wage has crept up over the years due to exposure and internet success, especially from my main work in Ibiza, Spain as a saxophonist. I have played in some of the best venues, clubs and festivals in the world including; O2 Arena (main stage), MEN Arena, NEC Birmingham, Pacha & Ushuaia in Ibiza, Tomorrowland Festival in Belgium and supported artists and brands such as Take That and Dolce & Gabbana.

I met my husband (DJ Ben Santiago) in Ibiza and we now work together as a successful duo touring the clubs, writing and producing music, whilst also hosting our own weekly summer event at Ibiza Rocks in Ibiza.

I will never forget looking in the career’s advice book at school and it read next to the profession ‘Musician’, ‘Only for the exceptionally talented’. I remember reading that and thinking I was not good enough, so I studied art instead. Two days into a fashion degree, I realised I had made a dreadful mistake, so I dropped out, risked following my heart and took up the saxophone. This was when I joined Weymouth College to study A-level music and honestly, it was the best decision for my career!

There’s an education and training route for everyone after GCSEs and you don’t have to follow one path
Laura Fowles
Professional Musician

SAM decided that a levels were right for hIM…

career journey

The Sir John Colfox Academy, Bridport

A-level Photography, Media and Sociology at Weymouth College

BA in Photojournalism at the London College of Communication

Sam studied A-level Photography, Media and Sociology at Weymouth College, before progressing to the London College of Communication to study Photojournalism. He now works as a freelance photographer taking on commissions for companies including as The New York Times, Architectural Digest, G.F Smith Paper and Hyde & Sleep.

Being self-employed means that each day can look very different from the last. I can be doing anything from shooting portraits of factory workers for a magazine, photographing buildings for an architectural studio or travelling overseas for assignments that can last weeks at a time. The variety of work and the ability to manage my own schedule is one of the many reasons that I love what I do.

Going onto study at A-level played a big part in helping me pursue a career in the arts. My tutors helped me to realise what was possible as they had worked in the industry themselves. With their support and guidance, I was able to start building a strong portfolio at an early stage in my career; this gave me a great head start when entering University and beyond.

There’s something for everyone after GCSEs and you don’t have to follow one path
Freelance Photographer