The Edmond Sun

Local News

September 6, 2013

Students learn from Mumford and Sons band mates

ACM@UCO sponsors master class to kick off festival

GUTHRIE — Before taking the stage as the headlining act at the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Guthrie, members of the Grammy-winning band Mumford and Sons sat down with students from the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) Friday afternoon at Byron Berline’s Music Hall in Guthrie.

Band members Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane answered questions about the evolution of the Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road Stopover tour, such as how it came into fruition.

“The Stopover tour has been a huge collaborative effort among all of the bands involved,” Lovett said. “The stopovers try to encapsulate the folk roots-style of music and also the spirit of telling stories through music.”           

They also discussed various ideas such as their songwriting process, record label and tour experiences.           

“Our songwriting process is different from song to song… There are some songs that come instantly, but others we spend a lot of time to create. Taking as much time as you need with each of the songs really helps,” he continued.            

The class advances the ACM@UCO’s commitment to connect students directly to the contemporary music industry. Plus, Dwane is an alumnus of the original Academy of Contemporary of Music located in Guildford, U.K.           

“When I heard that Mumford and Sons were doing the Gentlemen of the Road Guthrie Stopover event, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to organize a master class for our students while the band was in town,” said Scott Booker, CEO of ACM@UCO.           

“I knew that Ted would have a lot of great advice for our students and be able to relate to them, especially since he is a graduate of the original ACM in England,” he continued.

Joining Dwane and Lovett in the English folk rock band Mumford and Sons are Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall. Over the past few years, the band has gained worldwide popularity and success winning various awards, most notably a 2013 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Both Lovett and Dwane are multi-instrumentalists, however, Lovett primarily plays keyboard and piano within the group while Dwane primarily plays string bass.            

The band organized the first Gentlemen of the Road music festival last year, reprising it this year with a stop in Guthrie’s Cottonwood Flats area Friday and today.

ACM@UCO bands also will perform as a part of the Downtown Street Festival this weekend. That is the local component of the event, providing everyone in the community with the opportunity to enjoy music for a $5 wristband fee.

Based on the successful model of the original ACM in Guildford, the ACM@UCO is an innovative contemporary music program unlike any other in the U.S., offering an industry-based, “real world” educational experience for those interested in a career in contemporary music.  Students can earn a two-year associate’s degree in bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, music business, music production and vocals, or continue in the Bachelor of Applied Technology in Contemporary Music program. 

Classes are taught by music industry veterans, and supplemented with master classes featuring invited guests, like Lovett and Dwane. Past guests include Nile Rodgers of Chic, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jackson Browne, singer/songwriter Ben Folds, The Who’s Roger Daltrey, Warner Bro.’s Records President Livia Tortella and The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd.

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