Serious are delighted to be working with a group of the UK’s most talented young aspiring event producers, as participants for our Young & Serious talent development programme.

Taking a new spin to previous years, the 2019 Young & Serious programme will kick start with two week placements in Serious’ Communications, Production or Programming teams. Participants will take on, and assist with, a variety of tasks and projects in the run up to the EFG London Jazz Festival and Serious’ Summer programme.

Throughout the placements, participants will also take part in a number of workshops and activities, enhancing their knowledge and experience of the live music events industry. They will also work towards a Bronze Arts Award to document their professional development.

Learn more about them here!

Finola Southgate

“Just fresh out of Durham Uni studying French and Spanish, my name is Finola and I’m going to be part of the Programming Team for my Serious placement this summer. Having worked, studied and lived abroad from Colombia to France to Spain, I love discovering, leading, writing and performing a huge variety of music, be it gospel, electronic, jazz or classical.

My interests for this placement lie in talent development and artist liaison, on which I began during my internship at elrow and developed whilst leading a gospel choir. I also care deeply about original work for which I’ve recently premiered my own song cycle and opening access to music through learning and participation related schemes. I’m so excited to get started here at Serious and learn from such an incredible team! Best gig I’ve seen is a toss-up between Snarky Puppy in Bogotá and Marcus Miller in Dijon.”

Henry Weekes

“I’m Henry Weekes and I’m working in the Programming team as part as the Young & Serious placement. I’ve just finished my final year at Leeds University, completing a BA in Music. Jazz is my main genre of interest, having written a dissertation on the Afro-Caribbean influence on British jazz and getting the opportunity to interview a number of musicians and journalist from the scene. Alongside this, I also have a complete obsession with the life and works of Dexter Gordon (something which I always love an excuse to talk about).

I play the saxophone and regularly perform with small and large ensembles on the Leeds jazz circuit. Beyond jazz, I run a series of Brazilian club nights with my label Brazilian Wax FM, hosting sold out shows around the UK, playing with the likes of Mafalda, Tim Garcia and Nubya Garcia. As well, my funk and soul sounds regularly fill the talc covered floors of Leeds basements, performing as my DJ alter-ego, Bobby Hoffman. My favourite gig I’ve seen was Pharaoh Sanders at the Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds in 2018. It was a beautiful thing.”

Rohit Jepegnanam

Hi, I’m Rohit. I’m currently living in Birmingham working as a Programme Assistant at Birmingham Symphony Hall which I joined after graduating from the University of Birmingham. During my time at Uni I helped form and run a student record label called New Street Records helping develop local artists as well as putting on a range of events including a backyard festival called Door2Door. I’m a huge advocate of the Birmingham music scene as there are a tone of amazing artists that don’t get enough attention and everyone should check them all out!

As part of the Young & Serious programme I’m going to be based mostly in the Production team but I’m really excited to get involved with the other teams and see how it all works. I have a particular interest in how Serious helps develop talent and gives opportunities to the next generation of artists.

Rowan Mills

I’m Rowan and I’m excited to be placed within the Communications team at Serious! I currently work as a Digital Communications Coordinator at University of the Arts London and I have a background in Fine Art, after studying at Newcastle University. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of visual art events, exhibitions and festivals but I’d love to learn about promoting music and live events. I’ve been interested in music from a young age having dabbled with piano, guitar and having a go on the Didgeridoo. I also gained some experience of writing music reviews for Newcastle Student Radio. I regularly attend music concerts and gigs for fun and I’d love to see behind the scenes. Can’t wait to get started!

Phoebe Schenk

Hello! I’m Phoebe, a second year Sociology & Anthropology Student at Cambridge and an aspiring creative producer. I’ll be placed within the Production Team at Serious. I spend the majority of my time producing theatre both at uni and on international tours, so I’m really looking forward to branching out into other live art forms. For the first half of my Summer, I’m working on the Waterperry Opera Festival, so I’m looking forward to producing something completely different! I’m afraid I’m not very up to date on contemporary jazz musicians as I love a good jazz standard, namely the Ella and Louie collection on repeat. Looking forward to becoming part of the team!

Throughout the scheme, our participants will be managing the Young & Serious Instagram accounts alongside the occasional Serious Instagram takeover, so do keep an eye out for new content and follow their journey!