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Glee hopeful back home

A promising singing star who has reached the finals of a competition for a role in Glee has returned to the college where he honed his acting skills.

Damian McGinty visited the newly-opened performing arts suite at the North West Regional College, where he enrolled as a student in 2009, over the weekend.

Local people will get the first chance to see the 18-year-old in action tonight when the US hit show, The Glee Project, begins on Sky1 (8pm) with a double-bill opener.

Londonderry lad Damian was combining his studies on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts at the Strand Road campus with touring commitments with the successful band Celtic Thunder when he was put forward for The Glee Project, which is being aired across America.

From 40,000 applicants, Damian made it to the final 12 for the show which aims to fill two new roles on the third season of the worldwide smash hit series Glee.

He is the only contender from outside the USA to be included in the cast and has raced ahead to become the fans' favourite on online votes.

The talented singer and actor has been refining his skills on the popular drama course, which includes acting, singing and dancing, as well as production skills, for the past two years.

He believes he could not have made it into the Glee Project without the training and skills gained at the college.

Damian said: "For me this course has been an incredible experience. I've loved every last minute of it.

"It's taught me a lot, it's pushed me forward, and introduced me to parts of showbusiness I never knew existed."

During his visit back home to Derry for a charity concert, Damian said that he knew his experience on the reality show would be challenging.

"I entered into it to learn a lot about myself, to help progress my abilities, and basically to get better and to learn more in what I do, so I can be the performer I want to be," he said.

"At the minute I'm at a certain level and I want to keep improving myself."

Damian's fellow students and the staff at the college will be rooting for him tonight on the show.

Course co-ordinator for the Performing Arts programmes Anne McMaster said. "Damian is very focused, with a great deal of acting talent, which I'm very much looking forward to seeing on screen, as well as his obvious singing talent."


Damian McGinty has made it through to the final 12 of the Glee Project in the US, beating off competition from 40,000 rivals. He's been a hit in north America since being picked for stardom at just 14 by fellow Londonderry native Phil Coulter. Coulter chose him to sing with Irish supergroup Celtic Thunder, who have had seven number one albums in the US.

Belfast Telegraph