South Thames College Students Perform With Sopranos Band

They perform alongside internationally acclaimed The Alabama 3

17 year old Music Technology student Dean O’Leary (also known as Major Dee) has written a song titled South of the Bridge which has been incorporated into a track by The Alabama 3 who are famous for creating The Sopranos theme tune Woke Up This Morning.

Dean took fourteen of his fellow students along with him to perform the song at the prestigious HMV Forum with The Alabama 3 last Friday. The students were involved in a dramatic piece to accompany the opening song, titled I blame Kurt Cobain. This event marks the end of the band’s UK tour ahead of their album launch.

Dean’s potential was spotted whilst volunteering for a charity ‘Body Action Campaign’ who run workshops in filming, animation, music and drama for disadvantaged children in South London. Bunny Martin, Director of the charity, noticed Dean’s rapping ability and decided to show his music to close friend and The Alabama 3 front man Rob Love. Rob was so impressed with the demo that he invited Dean on stage with him for a gig held in Battersea Park.

Bunny Martin said: “Rob is a great one for giving young people a chance and it is due to this that he has embraced the whole idea of involving the various students from South Thames College to back up Dean on this launch.”

17 year old drama student Tayla Barnard said: “I’m nervous and excited but looking forward to the experience and performing in front of 3,000 people. I hope to meet new people in the industry and learn from them.”

Nick Osbourne, Curriculum Manager at South Thames College said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with a group that has sold thousands of records worldwide and to perform in a professional venue alongside industry professionals. Opportunities don’t get much better than this!”

Dean has been rapping since he was nine years old and originally started at South Thames College on a Plumbing course. After attending a rapping master class at the Body Action Campaign and discovering South Thames College’s thriving music department, Dean switched to a Music Technology course. He said: “One day I hope to become an artist, producer or even start my own record label. South Thames College is helping with skills and mastering logic, using new software and teaching me to produce other stuff. The studios here are well equipped and the teachers are really good at all types of different music.”

  • Alabama 3 have enjoyed international success mixing rock, dance, blues, country and gospel since forming in 1996. Their music has also been popular with TV shows such as The Simpsons and Top Gear and are about to release a new album.
  • The track that Dean O’Leary has contributed to is called I blame Kurt Cobain.

December 5, 2011