Music student takes the ocean waves by storm

10th November 2022

A former Music student from Stratford-upon-Avon College is taking his talent to the oceans after dazzling at an American Jazz festival.

Scott Bentley, who studied on the Music Performance & Production course at the College, has taken his sound waves to the ocean waves after recently securing a job with P&O Cruises.

Scott playing onboard the cruise ship. Photo credit: Kye Ansell @kamotion_media

His interest in music started early and close to home; from his dad’s CD collection: “Particular bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Deep Purple really inspired me to learn, there was something about the guitar and the way it sounded that I found extremely captivating.”

He heard about Stratford-upon-Avon College through a family friend who had studied Music there; “I also heard that it was one of the top performing arts colleges in my area.” After visiting the College on an open day, he realised that Stratford-upon-Avon College was the place for him: “I was blown away by the resources available and how approachable the staff were. The courses available were perfect for myself as I have always been a practical learner and never excelled in an exam environment, being assessed by coursework and being able to physically demonstrate what I’m learning appealed to me massively.”

Scott loved his experience at College: “I could spend forever talking about the great memories I had there, but to condense it down I’d have to say the lecturers that I learnt from when I was there impacted me massively. I owe a lot to Rob Hague especially, with him in pushing me into new areas of guitar and music that I wouldn’t have even known without him, so cheers to Rob for helping me become the musician I am now.”

After he left Stratford-upon-College Scott continued his studies in Music to higher education and went to study Jazz Performance at the University of Chichester Conservatoire.

Whilst in his final year of training, Scott was chosen by one of his university professors to represent the College at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival as part of the Grammy Museum Affiliate Collective. He got the chance to work alongside musicians who had been handpicked from different music universities around the USA and they opened every evening concert for groups such as The Chris Potter Trio, Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Lionel Hampton Big Band: “Being able to speak to and meet these highly acclaimed musicians was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Scott playing at Idaho Jazz festival. Photo credit: University of Idaho

These amazing career experiences continued as he was offered work within days of completing his university course. This particular role took him off the land and onto water for his new role as a guitarist for P&O Cruises. Scott plays as part of a party band onboard and plays guitar for guest entertainers.

Scott is so happy to be succeeding in his dream career: “The best part of working as a professional musician is simply being able to do what I love for a living, being able to play guitar everyday as a job is a blessing and very rewarding.”

And his advice for any aspiring musicians?: “The best advice I could give to any musician wanting to go professionally is stick at it no matter how hard or difficult it may seem and if it is what you love doing then the drive to achieve it will come naturally.”

Congratulations Scott, we can’t wait to see where you end up next!

To see more of Scott’s work, follow him on Instagram @scott_bentley_music and Facebook on Scott Bentley – Guitarist

Find out more about the College’s Music Performance & Production courses: SUAC Onstage