A sound career choice for Jamie

Reporter:

Staff reporter

For someone who is 90 per cent deaf a career in radio would not be an obvious choice.

But Jamie Griffiths has achieved his life-long ambition thanks to a college workers educational association.

Failed by the conventional education system, Jamie, 39, of Queensferry, grasped the opportunity with both hands.

He successfully completed the  music technology course at the Coleg Harlech residential college in the historic castle town.

The course gave him the skills and confidence which have secured him his own radio show on community radio, Calon FM in Wrexham.

Originally from Gwernaffield, Mold, Jamie admits he was a failure at Mold Alun High where he did not even hang around to check his exam results.

He said: “I think I got something in history and music which were the only two subjects I cared about.

“I didn't learn much to be honest, I was a bit of a rebel. After I left school I did a bit of everything, making concrete blocks, singing in pubs and clubs and DJ’ing since I was 15.

“I was going to a job club when I saw a poster on the wall relating to Coleg Harlech. I saw the halls of residence and it looked really nice. It took me a couple of years before I picked up the courage to find out about it and apply.

“I originally went there about 11 years ago when it was a performing arts course but that particular course wasn’t for me.

“Fast forward five years and I ended up on the music technology course where I learnt about presentational skills, basic studio production techniques and performed in a one off Charity concert for Hope House hospice and had a brief stint on the college radio, Radio Branwen.

“I finished the course in 2006 and carried on with the singing and DJ’ing and about two years ago I decided to try the radio production course at Glyndwr University.

“The academic side was too much but as part of the course I tried out on the campus radio, Calon FM and I ended up with my own radio shows, Jamie G On Sunday and In To The Morning.

“Coleg Harlech gave me the confidence to try these things. I always knew I wanted to go into radio and it was people like Trevor Andrews and his colleagues who pushed me and gave me confidence.

“The gang at Calon FM, including Amy, Katharine and Steve, have been great as well They have helped me out a lot said Jamie.

“I am technically 90 per cent deaf and have to wear hearing aids so my hearing is quite normal most of the time.”

Tests have not determined what is wrong with Jamie’s hearing which has deteriorated over a long period of time.

Jamie, who has a girlfriend and two ginger tom cats, has his eye on a specialist BBC training course for the future.

Trevor Andrews, head of the music technology course at Coleg Harlech, said: “We take people who have enthusiasm rather than formal qualifications, either as musicians or on the technical side recording music. We teach them both sides.

“We teach them the craft of recording people in the studio, we teach them about musical theory and composition and creating music through computers.

“There are also other elements to the course involving various aspects of creating video productions and the college has its own radio station where we can teach them to create radio programmes.

“We also teach them how to promote themselves and produce business materials and that all happens over nine months. At the end they get a qualification which is recognised by universities around the world.

“We set up the music technology course in 2003 and we had a lot of applicants, which is still the case.

“I have worked here for 20 years and see people coming out of here having changed their lives. Some of them come from really diverse backgrounds and this has been a fresh start. It’s often the case that more mature students will be really keen to embrace a second chance.

“Jamie loves Coleg Harlech and would recommend it to anyone. He loved his time here and passed his course and went on to Glyndwr University in Wrexham where he now works in a voluntary capacity for Calon FM.

“He epitomises what Coleg Harlech is all about – giving people a second chance. I’m glad to say that Jamie has grasped the opportunity with both hands and it’s immensely satisfying to see that he has created a better future for himself. He is an inspiration.”

- For more information about the courses offered by Coleg Harlech contact the Student Admissions Officer, Julie Roberts, by ringing 01766 781900 or emailing info@fc.harlech.ac.uk. You can also log on to:www.harlech.ac.uk

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