Jazz academy on the road

NEW DIRECTION: The James Morrison Academy will take on a new initiative as a "pop-up" academy.

THE James Morrison Academy will change its direction in a brand new initiative.

Following two years with many tertiary students studying online and music programs being disrupted in many ways across the country.

Academy head James Morrison said they had been luckier than many with most students being able to complete their degrees in person at the local campus.

Mr Morrison continued, stating even so, the closing of borders and restrictions on movement had challenged students and the faculty at every turn.

“Large universities have borne similar burdens and our partner, University of South Australia, is no exception,” Mr Morrison said.

“With the cessation of new intakes, the academy has spent this year completing the degrees of our current students – and now we come to a crossroads at the end of 2021.”

Mr Morrison said operations would now cease in the present form with the campus as the Mount Gambier Town Hall officially closing.

“It’s been seven wonderful years and many, many students have experienced jazz education in a way that we’ve been honoured to share,” he said.

“The chance to bring world class faculty to regional South Australia and further cement Mount Gambier’s reputation as a centre for jazz has been a privilege and we can’t thank our supporters enough.

“The academy will now operate as more of a ‘pop up’ academy, working as an outreach organisation taking music to wherever it is needed and inspiring young people who may not otherwise get an opportunity to hear, play and learn about music – and particularly jazz.”

Mr Morrison said there would be no geographic limitations to the work yet the base of operations would still occur in Mount Gambier.

“We also plan to bring young musicians to Mount Gambier for special events and further the building of the town’s reputation as a centre for jazz,” he said.