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Published: 15 May 2013

Sony Award sounds good for Surrey Tonmeister graduate

University of Surrey Sound Recording (Tonmeister) graduate Ollie Melville-Smith wins Sony Award with BBC Radio 2.

Tonmeister graduate Ollie Melville-Smith was celebrating this week after winning a Sony Radio Gold Award.

Composer Ollie works for Wise Buddah Jingles and Music Imaging, which produced a new station sound package for BBC Radio 2 that covered all of the station's programmes. This included writing around 40 main idents (reflecting the station’s branding) and working with more than 100 musicians and singers.

Ollie, who graduated from the University of Surrey's Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) degree programme in 2002, was part of the team that won Best Station Imaging at the UK radio industry's major awards ceremony.

“I’m a massive Radio 2 listener so it was such a fun thing to be part of,” said Ollie. “It is a diverse package but you have to come up with music that sings the station’s name and reflects the style of music it plays.”

Ollie worked with a team of producers, editors and voice over artists from Wise Buddah and was one of a pair of composers. His music is used for the Simon Mayo, Country and Big Band shows in particular.

“We got to record with the BBC concert orchestra and big band and some of the presenters were also involved such as Beverley Knight and Huey Morgan. It was great to win the award but I get the biggest satisfaction from just having worked on the package itself – Radio 2 is the biggest station in the country and it’s a big buzz when you hear your music being played.” 

The judges said of Wise Buddah’s work: “BBC Radio 2's imaging reflects the enormous diversity of the station whilst maintaining a wonderfully consistent sound. The new jingle package has breathed life and freshness into the network.”

Ollie is just the latest Tonmeister graduate to win a major award. Other recent honours for our alumni include:

  • Charlie Andrew ('Breakthrough Producer of the Year' in the Music Producers' Guild awards, producer on Alt-J's Mercury-winning album 'An Awesome Wave')
  • Robin Baynton (Best Album Grammy for engineering/mixing on 'Babel' by Mumford & Sons)
  • Sam Okell (two Grammy awards for remastering work on Beatles and Wings albums)
  • James Bellamy, Rob Houston and Rael Jones (MPSE [Music Picture Sound Editors] Golden Reel Awards for Music Editing for Les Misérables)