Performing Arts and Music

New College Bradford is the city’s number one specialist, academic sixth-form college. Our outstanding Performing Arts department features incredible facilities including:

  • State-of-the-art recording studio and live room.
  • Theatre with professional sound and lighting system.
  • Dance studio with mirror wall.
  • iMac suite with industry-standard recording software.
  • Practice rooms and instruments for students to hone their skills.

Find out about us being awarded the Arts mark Silver award HERE

100% PASS RATE IN 2023

Keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the department by checking our newsletter HERE



(Equivalent to 1.5 A Levels)

Meet The Team

Beth Leyland: BA Hons, MA, PGCE, QTLS

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Beth trained in London in Movement Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she trained full time in movement practice, physical theatre and contemporary performance. She then moved onto train at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds gaining her Masters in Performance as part of VERVE Company 2017 working with industry professionals such as James Cousins and Carlos Pons Guerra. During this time she toured within the UK and EU. After VERVE Beth worked in the industry for 2 years as a freelance performer touring with performance companies and featuring in commercial work such as advertisements. Beth has worked with a number of professionals in the industry such as Balbir Singh Company, Kenrick Sandy, Chhaya Collective and others. Within this time Beth also taught workshops for youth companies, schools and colleges and HE. After training and industry Beth completed her PGCE teacher training and came to teach full time at New College Bradford in 2020. “My favourite thing about teaching is seeing the talent and passion that students have for the industry and introducing them to inspirational opportunities, broadening their horizons on the endless possibilities within arts industry is and how important it is to our society and cultures.”

Mark Abbott: BMus Hons, M.Ed., PGCE. 

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I’m Mark Abbott, and my journey in education spans 24 years. My deep-seated love for music led me to the Royal Northern College of Music, where I honed my skills with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree in brass. My educational journey didn’t stop there; I pursued a Master of Education (M.Ed) with a focus on Educational Leadership. I am immensely passionate about teaching, particularly in the domains of A-Level music, BTEC Music Performance, and BTEC Sound Engineering. These subjects allow me to nurture and inspire the next generation of musicians and sound engineers. As an experienced Head of Music and Director of Expressive Arts, I have guided countless students in their musical pursuits, watching them blossom into talented individuals. I firmly believe in the power of education to drive social mobility and in the holistic development of every student. But it’s more than that. It’s about recognizing that everyone is unique and has the potential to succeed. I am passionate about unleashing the unique talents and potential within each student I teach, allowing them to thrive and become confident, capable individuals who can conquer any challenge that comes their way. I wholeheartedly believe in the potential for success in each and every student I encounter, and I’m dedicated to helping them realise their dreams and reach their full potential.

Haydn Wilcox: Performing Arts Technician

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Haydn recently joined New College Bradford working part time as a sound and lighting technician in the Performing Arts department. His journey began as a child where he learned to sing and play guitar. He achieved a diploma in music technology, then worked as a piano salesman and as an audio-visual engineer, before starting his own music business online, which is still active. Haydn is a musical artist and DJ, focussed on electronic dance music and alternative rock. His music has been released on various independent record labels. He also operates a music channel on YouTube. He is looking forward to continuing his role at New College Bradford, working alongside Beth and Mark to achieve success for the students in both Performing Arts and Music departments.


BTEC and A-Level Music will help you to take your first steps towards a new career with the right blend of technical and academic skills in order to become the highly skilled, work-ready individuals’ employers and universities look for. The BTEC Level 3 Nationals and A-Level Music are qualifications designed to help you succeed. They have been developed in collaboration with over 5,000 universities, employers and professional bodies with employability at the heart, so your learners can develop the skills and confidence they will need to step into their future providing maximum flexibility around course content working towards your strengths and interests.

In BTEC Sound Engineering, lessons are very practical to give students the best opportunities to develop their skills for employment or further study at degree level. You will study both independently and as part of a team, depending on the nature of your task, which means each lesson is varied in delivery. You will have access to our state-of-the-art iMac suite(s), complete with industry standard software and our amazing recording studio with top quality microphones, preamps and other equipment. Finally, the music department are keen to run many different trips for our students to enhance your experience on the course even more. We love to visit industry leading universities and plan to go on music tours overseas, so that you can get real world experience!


Merging these two subjects together; Dance and Drama would provide students with a strong start to their performance aspirations, confidence and practical ability. Both courses embarks on building performance, theory and transferable skills. The confidence growth seen in students who study these courses is remarkable. All students leave our courses being strong minded, critical thinkers who can develop work independently and work extremely well in collaboration with others.

Dance is more than just a form of entertainment. Dance builds connections between students and our ever-developing world; it is embedded within every culture and allows us to explore and share traditions. Studying dance also promotes opportunities for students to develop many personal and employability skills such as collaboration, discipline and adaptability that will benefit our students as they move onto face the challenges found in Higher Education or employment.

Upcoming Events

(Check back in the future for more upcoming shows!)

Recent Trips

Our performing arts and music students took a trip down south on Thursday for an overnight trip in London Town! 

The first day was sightseeing, students visited Covent Garden, Westminster & Buckingham palace and to see an amazing performance of Cabaret the musical at the Kit Kat Club. The second day the musicians visited Abbey Road Institute whilst the dancers went to a Dance Convention called MOVE IT! 

All major performing arts training institutions,  dance schools, choreographers and dancers across the industry come together to celebrate dance in all its forms! 

Recent Shows

Our Performing and Production Arts Y13 students performed at the NCB theatre for their final time on Thursday! We had amazing feedback from the show which can be seen in some of the feedback comment sheets, they did themselves, the college and mostly our PA department very proud! We can’t wait to see what they get up too in the future and we hope to see them visit NCB in the future to share their next steps! 

Where Performing Arts Can Take You

Music Producer£15,00 – £63,000
Music Therapist£24,000 – £83,000
Musician£15,000. -£111,000
Private Music Teacher£22,000 – £70,000
Secondary School Teacher£22,000 – £46,000
Sound Engineer£19,000 – £49,000
Physiotherapist£24,000 – £49,000
Dance Development Co-ordinator£24,000 – £35,000
Dance Performer£21,000 – £31,000
Personal Trainer£19,000 – £91,000
Producer£27,000 – £82,000
Director£15,000 – £98,000
Actor / Actress£13,000 – £126,000
Lighting Designer£21,000 – £40,000
Prop Maker£28,000 – £46,000
Costume Designer£20,000 – £31,000
Marketing£19,000 – £116,000
Events Manager£20,000 – £42,000
Social Worker£23,000 – £41,000


At New College Bradford, we offer many exciting Performing Arts enrichment opportunities to further your journey towards where you want to be! Anyone can come and get involved with:







DANIEL MARSDEN, Trinity Academy Bradford

“This is my first year doing A-level music and so far I have thoroughly enjoyed the course. I have been able to study classical music, learn the history of many famous rock and pop songs, and I get to compose my own piece!”

HANNAH ROBINSON, Beckfoot Thornton School

“The people you meet are all so nice and friendly, which makes it easy to settle into college. As someone who has never really performed acting-wise, I have learnt so much on this course and will take it all with me to wherever I go next.”

KATIE JACKSON, Hanson Academy

“I love this course because it’s a way to express myself and my passion without fear of judgment from my classmates. I’ve created such strong bonds from these lessons with the students and teacher. We are always going out and having new experiences within the industry to help plan our futures.”

JACOB CONWAY, Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College

“This is a fantastic course! This is only the first year of the course in college and what is good is that you can explore different mics, sounds, polar patterns, get to record your own piece, and work as a team which has always been the key to success in this course.”

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