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2002-Jul-19: LIPA Commencement Today

Updated July 23.  Sir Paul was at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool today to present the 240 students who have completed their studies this year at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with their unique LIPA badges.  Sir Paul, who was moved to tears by the ceremony, told the graduates:
"Liverpool Institute is my old school and coming back is special - it's even better year after year. The LIPA graduates are going to go and do something special and I know they are going to deliver.

"No matter where I am in the world I'll always find time to come back to LIPA because it's so great. It's important to me and it's part of me no matter where I am touring or making albums. It's in my home town, it makes me feel good and it makes me feel that you can make dreams come true - it's a great gig."

Heather, who had attended previous LIPA graduation ceremonies with Sir Paul noted:
"This one was special because when I saw the mortar boards flying up in the air, I realised just how great it was for every single individual and their families.I wish I had had an education like that."
One of the graduates, Stephanie Davies told the Liverpool Echo:
"It was wonderful to receive my badge from Sir Paul but it was over so quickly. He asked if I'd enjoyed my time at LIPA - but the worst thing was I forgot to kiss him."
This "Word from Sir Paul McCartney" appears on the LIPA website:
"The initial reason for my involvement with LIPA was the building. It was my old school. When I saw for myself the state it had reached as an abandoned building, I wanted to save it.

"Then the idea arose that there was a need for a performing arts institute, both for the city I grew up in and for the industry I am part of. I liked the idea of a place where talent, which is natural to places like Liverpool, could be brought together.

"I know a fair amount about working in music and there's much more to it than writing and performing. There are many tasks that need to be understood and done to bring any work of creation to people design, production, management and marketing are just some of them.

"We know there are many forms of success. Supporting performance, there is a breadth of employment which generally isn't recognized. When we worked on the concept of LIPA, we wanted to bring a variety of skills together as well, which is what we have done. We also wanted to build in a community dimension to our work.

"Initially I had misgivings about the ability of any institution to teach the stuff that we had to learn the hard way by going to clubs and just doing it.

"Since then, I have seen what LIPA students can do; they have proved to me that they can stand up and deliver. The training and the spirit I have seen should give our graduates a good chance in the professional world.

"To those of you who get a place at LIPA, I want to say: good luck, trust your instincts and follow your passion and enjoy yourselves."

This is the day of reckoning for Liverpool in the city's bid to earn the title of Europe's number one cultural city.  (see February 20)  The Capital of Culture judges' will tour the city today for eight hours.   They will visit Sir Paul's art exhibit at the Walker Art Gallery and will attend the LIPA graduation ceremony.  Hopefully, they will heed Sir Paul's message to them and will "Let it Be Liverpool!"   Sir Paul told the Liverpool Echo yesterday:
"Liverpool richly deserves the Capital of Culture honour. This is a great city with very many achievements, past and present. I fully support Liverpool's bid. In fact, I agree with the American poet Allen Ginsberg, who said that Liverpool was the capital of the entire universe."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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