Black Sabbath legend opens new Bimingham music college

Music legend, Tony Iommi was the guest of honour at the official opening of the new British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) on Floodgate St, Birmingham on Tuesday.

Guitarist, songwriter and producer, Iommi, is one of the founding members of Black Sabbath, who have sold 70 million albums worldwide. His legacy spans an incredible 50 years in music and his continued support towards BIMM is an inspiration to its students.

When he arrived, Tony was given a tour around BIMM's brand new £4M state-of-the-art college, during which he watched a live performance workshop - led by BIMM Songwriting tutor (and lead singer of The Whip), Bruce Carter - and listened to the new students perform and critique one another. 

Tony looked around the building, culminating in the impressive drum room, where he had a one-to-one meeting with student, James Atwood. James is studying for a degree in guitar and Tony personally selected to receive the scholarship that bears his name. Being awarded this prestigious Tony Iommi Scholarship means that James has his course fees - worth up to £20,250 - covered for the entirety of his degree at BIMM Birmingham. 

James said afterwards: "It was brilliant; there was a great atmosphere in college. 

"It's a privilege to receive this Tony Iommi scholarship; he's a guitar legend. Essentially this bursary will allow me to practice my art and follow my career choice. It's a massive weight off my mind; I can immerse myself in studying for my degree without the worries of paying a loan back when I graduate.

"Tony was very friendly and asked me about my ambitions. He was interested in what I’ve been doing at BIMM and how I'm progressing. To be recognised for my drive as a musician is an honour."

As well as the scholarship, BIMM will also offer three Tony Iommi BIMM Birmingham Bursaries where a student can access a £1,500 bursary for their first year to support them during their studies. Tony's support of the BIMM scholarship and bursaries is a testament to the college’s close ties with the industry.

Tony was clearly impressed with the new BIMM, following his tour he said:

"I'd have loved something like BIMM where you get the opportunity to live your dreams. In my day, I had to teach myself, but now with all these facilities you can learn everything you need to know about the business."


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