Jed Parsons – leading the way to graduation
Musician Jed Parsons, who will represent students at CPIT's graduation on Friday, says his time on campus was not only a lesson in music but in life.
Also to receive his Bachelor of Musical Arts degree, 22 year-old Parsons, vividly recalls his first few days at CPIT's prestigious Music Arts programme (formerly the Jazz School), fresh from Lincoln High School, and from making the top 15 in the Lion Foundation Mike Chunn national secondary school song writing competition, in 2010.
"Actually, the earthquake in 2011 created some opportunities for us. It taught us to make use of those opportunities. Until the school could organise halls, we had nowhere to go and play, so we jammed at each other's houses, and through those friendships I made, we formed our band House of Mountain, and I went on to start our duo Jed and Hera. So actually while it was a strange time, the quakes were a blessing in disguise in that we got to collaborate."
Parsons and Icelandic-born Hera Hjartardottir are still going strong, recently releasing.
a single/music video 'Issues', which got to number 15 on the New Zealand single charts.
The pair also toured Hjartardottir's homeland in November last year, stopping off in New York City for a few performances.
He has several other projects on the go, including hip hop electro project "Odyssey", as well as launching his own indie-rock solo career. None of this would have been possible without the support of his teachers and tutors at CPIT, Parsons said.
"Probably the best thing about jazz school and a point of difference is being taught by musicians who are out there doing it too. They understand that doing gigs is part of your education."
His advice to new students would be to treat the music arts programme as a tool, and use those skills to stay active in the music industry while studying, by being part of a band or group.