Hi! My name is Miriam and I’m a third year drummer at Nexus ICA.
I just had the amazing experience of spending last week in California, representing Nexus ICA alongside two of my classmates and lecturers. For the last few years, this trip has offered students the opportunity to serve American Music & Sound’s Nord booth at the NAMM show.
If you’re not familiar with NAMM, it’s one of the largest music product trade shows in the world – essentially a gathering of music industry brands and manufacturers on an almost unimaginable scale. For four days, the Anaheim convention centre is overrun with musicians and creatives from all walks of life and corners of the industry – and we tagged along!
Our role as Nexus ICA students within the show was to support the running of the Nord booth. This looked different day to day; we took part in set up and pack down, arranging keyboards (so many keyboards), ferrying gear and filming a grand total of 13 performances.
All of this felt far from work, especially when it came to filming the performances; the front row spot for performances from such incredible musicians made it all more than worth the effort!
The community atmosphere, particularly within AM&S (American Music & Sound) was strong from day one, we were met with a keenness for friendship and enthusiasm over who we were and how we were finding our experience. It was also great to discover the number of Christians working within the company and attending NAMM as a whole. Given the nature of the music industry and the toll it often takes on those working within it, it was encouraging to see Christian faith pervade and thrive within many of those we met.
NAMM is such a unique collision of musicians and creatives within an environment that encourages collaboration and the freedom to play. As a result, many of the best moments seemed to formulate organically! Being at the right place at the right time led me to moments like watching Bernard Purdie play his iconic shuffle, seeing Stevie Wonder and meeting Sarah Thawer!
There were of course a few more expected highlights; Jesus Molina’s quintet performance at the Nord night was a real privilege to attend and our visit to Saddleback Church was an incredible insight into an aspect of Church in America.
The week was also a unique opportunity to really get to know the other two students and lecturers on the trip.
We had so much valuable time to spend together, serving, sightseeing and of course enjoying some healthy competition over the Huntington Beach volleyball nets!
It was also a joy to stay with and get to know our hosts Tim and Ruth. They welcomed us so openly into their home and had so much wisdom to share with us regarding the history of contemporary worship in LA.
To wrap up...
This trip has had a profound impact on me and left me with memories and experiences I will carry for long time! I am so grateful to Matt Cossey and AM&S for offering this opportunity to us. It was a privilege to serve and represent Nexus ICA, meet incredible musicians and observe so many facets of the industry. I’m excited to see how this trip continues to impact Nexus students for years to come!
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