Wednesday 27 July 2022

















Paul and his LIPA companions for 2022, (left to right) Paul Epworth, Mark Featherstone-Witty, Paul McCartney, Sean Jonathan Clyde, Georgina Kakoudaki, Katie Vine, Francesca Jaynes and Yaw Owusu at the annual graduation ceremony for the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) (Image: PA) 


Paul McCartney joins hundreds of LIPA pupils on graduation day. 800 students from 30 different countries attended the ceremony.

LIPA co-founder  Paul McCartney joined pupils and companions at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) on Tuesday, July 26 for the annual graduation ceremony. Around 800 students from 30 different countries, including Norway, Singapore, Thailand, Ukraine and the United States, attended the ceremony at the ACC Liverpool arena having completed either degree or foundation certificate programmes.

The annual event was put on hold in 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic. At the ceremony award-winning music producer Paul Epworth was made a Companion of LIPA by Paul.

The super-producer who has worked with artists including Florence + the Machine, Rihanna and Adele, with whom he shares an Academy Award for James Bond theme Skyfall. Bafta award-winning film producer Jonathan Clyde, who most recently produced Beatles: Get Back-The Rooftop Concert, also received a companionship which acknowledges outstanding achievement and practical contribution to students' learning.















Others honoured as companions were the director of programmes and production at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Katie Vine, theatre director Georgia Kakoudaki, international set and costume designer Leslie Travers, and choreographer and movement director Francesca Jaynes. The curator of the Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF), Yaw Owusu, was also made an Honoured Friend of LIPA.

LIPA was founded by Paul and Mark Featherstone-Witty and opened in 1995 with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for people who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry. The graduation ceremonies mark the last for Mr Featherstone-Witty who decided to retire as principal and CEO in 2021, and was replaced by Sean McNamara.

Mr McNamara said: "The world in 2022 is very different to the pre-pandemic one that existed when our graduating students entered LIPA. The experiences of the last three years have been underpinned by the forging of new friendships, development of new skills, a determination to continually move forwards as artists and creatives and an enduring sense of hope and kindness.

"The resilience and positivity that our graduating students have shown over the last three years has been an inspiration and I believe these qualities will see them successfully embark upon the next stage of their careers. We are immensely proud of them and extremely excited to watch them progress towards the next chapter in their lives."

LIPA is located in Paul's old school, the Liverpool Institute for Boys, which underwent a multimillion-pound renovation to turn it into a state-of-the-art performing arts higher education institution.


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