News: Institute students are Hard Rock Rising champions

Institute students are Hard Rock Rising champions

The Carnabys, an unsigned rock band featuring two Institute alumni have won the Grand Prize in Hard Rock’s Global Battle of the Bands Competition - Hard Rock Rising.

This fantastic prize will see them embark on the opportunity of a lifetime: a World Tour in six renowned cities arranged by Hard Rock International; a spot on the bill at the Hard Rock Calling Festival (London), alongside the likes of Kasabian, Paul Weller and Bruce Springsteen; an album and music video produced through Hard Rock Records; and new music equipment and gear valued at $10,000.

The Carnabys are a five-piece rock band with Institute alumni Jack Mercer on vocals and Ben Gittins on guitar. Both studied on the Institute’s intensive one-year Higher Diploma in Music Performance 2011-2012. Jack commented on his time at the school: "I really enjoyed my time at the Institute, studying there helped me hone my skills on and off the stage, and prepare for situations I have been in with The Carnabys".
Higher Diploma Programme Leader, Mike Sturgis congratulated the students, saying: “We are extremely proud of what Jack Mercer and Ben Gittins have achieved with The Carnabys. Their success is indicative of the huge amount of talent, drive and dedication found in Institute students.”  
Following several battle rounds against some of London’s top talent, The Carnabys were chosen to represent London and moved on to the global voting round in which they came 11th out of 25. In the final stage a panel of music industry professionals; including Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band), Toby Leighton-Pope (Live Nation’s Senior Vice President of Music), Hard Rock International’s Head of Music & Artist Relations, John Kirkpatrick, and Hard Rock Records Co-Heads of A&R, James Buell and Blake Smith, named The Carnabys as the Grand Prize winner. 
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