Oxford musician raises money to go to music school in America

A talented young musician raises money so he can attend a world-class music school in America, after landing a highly competitive spot.

Electric bassist Louis Stringer first picked up his guitar at age 13 and is now one of 20 students to have earned a spot on the Master of Music in Global Jazz course at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thanks to a scholarship awarded to graduate students at Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute, Mr. Stinger’s tuition ($40,450) is fully covered by the university.

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However, all the other costs – such as visas, accommodation, amenities, transportation of instruments, books, travel and equipment – still pose a financial challenge for the 24-year-old.

Louis Stringer at a concert. Photo: Louis Stringer

Mr Stringer now hopes to raise a total of £23,000 throughout the year to secure his education.

He doesn’t “expect” to raise that much money before he leaves for America in August, but rather hopes it will be an ongoing fundraiser to cover his expenses as an international student.

Mr Stringer, from St Mary’s Road in Oxford, is currently working as a freelance musician after graduating from the Royal Birmingham Conservatory, where he studied jazz.

He had no intention of applying for a master’s degree at all until he heard about the course at Berklee from a friend who had also studied there.

While at Berklee, Mr. Stringer wants to improve as a musician and composer and learn from world-renowned teachers on the course, a number of whom are direct inspirations to him.

Oxford Mail: Mr Stringer first picked up a guitar when he was 13.  Photo: Louis StringerMr. Stringer first picked up a guitar when he was 13 years old. Photo: Louis Stringer

He explained: “Two of the tutors, Ben Street and John Patitucci, are my heroes.

“I was lucky enough to meet and have a lesson with Ben and it took me out of the tunnel vision I had of being a grassroots player, just doing this niche stuff in the south of the country. ‘England.

“It paved the way for me to what else you can do with it.”

Along with improving his skills, Mr. Stringer is keen to use his talent for good.

He said: ‘There’s a pretty interesting element of the course where they have a lot of modules and focus on using music as a tool for social change and how music has played a part in movements to through history.

Oxford Mail: Louis Stringer is just one of 20 students who have a place to study on the Master of Music in Global Jazz course at Berklee College of Music.  Photo: Louis StringerLouis Stringer is just one of 20 students who have a place to study on the Master of Music in Global Jazz course at Berklee College of Music. Photo: Louis Stringer

“I want to see how we can continue to use our career path to do more than just entertain.”

Mr Stringer’s fundraising response so far has been “incredible” and “kind of amazing” with the amount he needs to switch to American nearly covered.

You can donate to Louis Stringer’s fundraiser here: gofundme.com/f/yzx637-help-louis-raise-23k-to-study-at-berklee.

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can contact her by email: [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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