Queen Visits Paul McCartney's School for Performers

LIVERPOOL, June 7, 1996 (AP) - There was no sign of stage fright as pupils at Paul McCarney's new school performed on Friday for Queen Elizabeth II.

The ex-Beatle and Mark Featherstone-Witty, chief executive of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, showed the queen around the building.

First stop in the school - on the site of the former Liverpool Institute grammar school where McCartney and another former Beatle, George Harrison, went to school - was a contemporary dance studio where 15 teen-age students went through their paces.

"When we saw her we were quite nervous - but we were excited as well," said Beth Olson, 20, from Birmingham, England. "We have been working up to this for quite a while but seeing her really got the adrenaline going."

The queen saw one of the college's rock bands, The Salvation, play one of their own numbers, then spoke with their 27-year-old Norwegian female lead singer Mocci Ryen.

McCartney showed the queen a hi-tech recording studio before the party went into the main Paul McCartney Auditorium for a student performance of a medley of Stephen Sondheim show tunes and Beatles songs.

Featherstone-Witty told the queen: "We first wrote to you in 1991 when this room and this building were completely derelict.

"We asked for your support and you gave it to us. Our council, staff and students and all of us who live in Liverpool give you our thanks for your faith in our dream."

McCartney said after the queen's departure, "I am very proud of our students. I think they gave a fantastic performance.

"What amazed me was the talent of the kids. If this is the start they aren't going to need much training - any of them could be in a London show now."

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