A Swindon music academy is welcoming a number of celebrity guests to give master classes when it reopens next month in its own new premises.

The Swindon Academy of Music and Sound is now based in the Bentley Centre, Stratton Road, and prides itself on turning out students ready to go on and star in the music world.

Nick Bennett, operations director, said: “We are an academy that is run by musicians for musicians.

“We are a dedicated music college where students learn on their instruments. We only hire musicians who teach because this is a vocational skill and our teachers have to also be practitioners.’’ The academy throws open its doors on September 20 and this term are hoping to have guest masterclasses from Guthrie Govan, Katie Holmes, Basement Jaxx members, Mark Heaney, drummer with Gang of Four, and local hero Barry Andrews from XTC.

Many ‘names’ have already come to the Swindon academy to lend their support and pass on the music baton to the next generation including Bruce Findlay from Simple Minds, guitarist Steve Ling who is working with Ronan Keating this autumn, Nathan Curran from Basement Jaxx and Luke Bullen and Arnulf Lindner from KT Tunstall’s band.

Centre manager Steve Leigh said: “The activities week gives the students access to the stars.

“They inspire the students to take the same journey that they have.’’ Some of the famous names are former pupils of the academy which has centres in cities ranging from Edinburgh to Southampton.

Nick says he remembers Nathan Curran from Basement Jaxx when he was one of the students. And now the stars are repaying the compliment by returning to take masterclasses at the academy.

Nick said: “When they came to us in Swindon we had vocalists all in the front row and I wondered if they would get it, but the guys flew into it with one of their big anthems and it gave me such a kick to see the kids get it.’’ Another regular to the academy is Katie Holmes, who is Lily Allen’s backing singer.

The academy is in its fourth year in Swindon and the students tackle the B-Tech Level 2 Diploma in Music which is the equivalent of a GCSE level and the B-Tech Level 3 Diploma in Music which is equivalent to A-level.

Last year the academy broke all records with a success rate of 94 per cent with 40 per cent going on to university.

Steve said: “Every kid has the same ambitions as us, to become big stars. We don’t crush it, in fact we encourage it, but also make sure they learn how to survive in that industry.’’ The academy is in partnership with New College and will be welcoming about 95 students.

“Working with New College means we can give support and nurturing to our students plus a world class music education that is open to everyone,’’ said Steve.

Some local stars also give masterclasses at the academy including former XTC keyboard player Barry Andrews who tells the students tales of his time working with Iggy Pop and David Bowie and, of course, Swindon’s own rock stars XTC.

For more details about the academy call 644 477 or 0798 0972 190 or steve.leigh@academyofmusic.ac.uk