Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Macca leads Fame graduation joy

Sir Paul McCartney attends the graduations every year

Sir Paul McCartney has led graduation celebrations at the "fame" school he set up in his home city.

Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (Lipa) opened in 1996 after a long campaign by the former Beatle.

A total of 300 students from the UK and 22 other countries attended the ceremony alongside the music legend to collect their degree and postgraduate certificates.

Sir Paul, 69, also presented Lipa Companionships to Grammy Award-winning singer Billy Ocean, former Madonna dancer Steve Nestar, studio designer and acoustics expert David Bell, record label executive Caroline Elleray, community arts creator Chris Johnston and musical theatre actor Hannah Waddingham.

Lipa awards companionships for outstanding achievement in the arts and for those who provide a practical contribution to its students' learning.

Mark Featherstone-Witty, the school's founding principal and CEO, said: "This year roughly 135 practitioners contributed to our learning which is quite a total."

Lipa, located in the former Beatle's old school, the Liverpool Institute for Boys, was founded by Sir Paul and Mr Featherstone-Witty with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for those who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry.

Sir Paul, who is engaged to New York businesswoman Nancy Shevell, 51, attends the Lipa graduations every year.

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Your career has been undergoing some dramatic changes. At long last, you'll have a chance to slow down and catch your breath. Getting used to a new set of responsibilities will take time and patience. Try not to be hard on yourself when you struggle with unfamiliar concepts. Nobody expects perfection, especially at this stage of the game. The more gentle you are with yourself, the easier it will be to master this role. If you're out of work, take this opportunity to rest and reflect on future possibilities.More