Orcas-UK band members (left to right) Conor Bailie, Anil Kumar, Ben Lindsay, Tom Beck and Tom Findlay

A band formed by Music students at Stratford-upon-Avon College as part of their course is already making its mark in the music industry. 

Level 3 Music students at the College were assigned a practical project to form their own band, create their own music and schedule a tour.  Quickly getting to work, four class mates joined forces with close friend Anil Kumar, naming their band Orcas-UK.

The band members are:

  • Tom Findlay, 19, Warwick – Drums and vocals
  • Conor Bailie, 17 Rugby – Bass and vocals
  • Ben Lindsay, 19 Coventry – Guitar and vocals
  • Tom Beck, 20 Redditch – Guitar and vocals
  • Anil Kumar – Keyboard and vocals

The students bonded so well on their course, and discovered they share such a similar attitude to music and the industry, that they are going to continue performing together.  The alternative rock band has just completed a UK tour – the College decided that they needed to support this up-and-coming band and gave them the opportunity to take advantage of this amazing experience – during which they supported the bands InMe and Press to Meco.  The band has recently performed their single ‘Pulse’ (produced by Connor Ball, bassist for ‘The Vamps’ which is available now on iTunes.

Having just graduated from their course, Orcas-UK already have more gigs lined up.  They have secured a prestigious booking in August to support rock bands Hawthorne Heights and The Dear Hunter at the O2 Academy in Birmingham.

Now working as professional musicians, the band members have come a long way since starting their course.  Conor had only 8 months experience playing in a band before starting at the College, while Tom saw his future going in a different direction altogether: “I originally auditioned to study Acting but the Music lecturers spotted me and persuaded me to change my mind.  Since I started the course at the College, music is all I want to do.”

Tom attributes the current success of the band to the opportunities they received while studying at the College. “There’s no way we would be in this position if not for the College course.  It’s really tested us and made us work really hard but the experience of getting to know each other and playing to so many live audiences has been amazing.”

Although they are currently unsigned, the band sees this as an advantage.  Ben explained: “We want to get as far as possible before we’re signed to a label.  We don’t want to get tied down with legalities at the moment.  Our booking agent is fantastic and has secured us some great performances.”

Claire Morley, Assistant Head of Department – Performing Arts and Music, commented: “I’m delighted, but not surprised, by their success.  They are all passionate about their music, always worked hard and were perceptive to advice and suggestions.  Individually they are all talented musicians, but together they became magic!  I’m certain that this is just the beginning for Orcas-UK.”

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245.  You can also follow @SuacOnstage on twitter to keep up to date with all College Performing Arts courses and shows.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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