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Liam Higgins

Arriving at L.C.C., I was a lost soul. I’d left my trade and decided like so many others before me, that it was time for a change. I was busy but very unhappy to say the least. At Reception in Roscoe St, I had a Tesco’s bag full of my thoughts and one caveat. I wanted to understand the music that I had loved and heard my whole life. I had my thoughts and I wanted to be able to lend these thoughts colour. Stevie Wonder’s Pastels, Robert Johnson’s Blues, and Al Green’s Scarlets with Marvin’s Oils!

These are the artists I knew the best, and these were the artists I wanted my own palette to reflect. With no fuss I was sent to meet a wonderful Lady by the name of Anne Baume. She greeted me and said something I’ll never forget, “So, your journey begins today!” Simply Music was the name of her course and it was indeed the start of a much longer journey than I could have ever dreamed.

Flash forward to two years later and a Man called Paul Taft literally turned me 180 degrees and said, “Liam, you’re not leaving, you haven’t finished yet!” I was despondent, deflated and frustrated. Paul’s words stuck with me though, as if a challenge had been issued and it was mine to rise to it. The way he said it was so important. It was as if I had a friend who believed something in me that I was still yet to prove to myself. These words and the warmth with which they were given will stay with me.

Two years ago, in the process of being ravaged by debt and struggling to find somewhere to live, I received a message from a friend, a message that said “would you like to come to college and discuss your results”. I had performed badly at the end of my foundation degree and was “all at sea” again! At this discussion Tom Sykes and I discussed re-assessments. We talked as equals, where I felt as if I was a failure, he would remind me how far I’ve come, when I talked to him about problems he offered solutions. It’s wasn’t long before I was back in the swing again!

Last year, a bearded man named Matt Lawton would assume the role of my Lecturer where only the year before we had been enrolled on the same foundation degree. For my final year he would find parts of my artistic personality and musical taste that I’d not been aware of previously. Studying Kurt Elling’s and Gregory Porter’s stylings and voice characteristics has lent me a completely new way of considering vocal performance!

I had always assumed that my instrumental knowledge were the only things that I would have to offer jazz. Matt helped me to come away from the wailing and more popular style of vocalising and allowed me an opportunity to croon! With this he said “and now all you need to do is get some charts and hit some nights kid!” 20 years my junior, this man embraced me as I would embrace my younger brothers, as a friend and with care and attention to my potential! I’m living these words now!

So with this Award, and the blessing of so many people I have come to know, and made important in my life, My Journey Continues......