Huge LA film music producer hand picks former Shropshire student to become his protégé

7 February 2017

A former Shrewsbury Sixth Form College (SSFC) student has been offered a place working with one of the biggest names in music and film in LA.

Stuart Bramwell, 18, from Shrewsbury, has been given the opportunity of a lifetime working for the renowned LA composer and music producer, Mark Portmann, as his Assistant.

Mark Portmann’s music has been heard all over the world – working with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Ariana Grande, and film stars including Tom Cruise. He’s received nine Grammy nominations and 10 writer ASCAP/BMI awards and has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, The Hollywood Recording Orchestra and has also been the Director of music at the Lincoln Centre, New York.

Stuart, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland first saw the position advertised on a freelance job site called Upwork and Mark, requested to see examples of his compositions and orchestral pieces as part of the meticulous application process.

Stuart, who previously studied Music, Geography and Psychology A Levels at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, now part of the Shrewsbury Colleges Group, impressed Mark with his talent so much he decided to offer him the role as his Assistant.

On getting the position with Mark, Stuart said: “It’s a massive milestone for me and I am learning an awful lot from it. The work has to be industry-standard and it’s a real eye opener for me. I help Mark with his workload and the samples I work on with him form the basis of music for films and trailers amongst other media, much of which I can’t reveal as they haven’t been released yet!

Stuart is a budding film music composer himself and has written music for an animated commercial for international company Seametrix as well as documentaries and a short film that hasn’t been released yet. He is a talented violinist and writes and records his own live violin pieces which he works into the samples of music.

On his time at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, Stuart said: “Getting into the Conservatoire is not based on grades but performance. I learned so much from my studies at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College – it helped me with all the groundwork which you can’t be a serious composer without.”

Stuart’s former Music teacher at SSFC, David Place, said: “I am delighted to hear that Stuart is doing so well, not only in his further academic career, but also with his own ambitions of becoming a film composer. This work opportunity, he has found and secured with his own determination and skill, will certainly stand him in good stead.”

Tags: Music Drama & Theatre Studies Extend & Enrich Performance