Ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney interupts Canada and US tour to appear at LIPA
SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY made a flying visit to Liverpool to take part in the annual LIPA graduation ceremony.The 69-year-old jetted in from Montreal to hand out badges to hundreds of students at the Philharmonic Hall.
He was then due to leave again last night, this time for the United States.
And he told the young performers to always be grateful for their talent.
He said: "You are all pretty brilliant to be here today. You put in all the hard work.
"But remember it’s a gift, and be grateful for that gift."
More than 300 students from the UK and 22 countries, including Chile and Iceland, attended the ceremony to collect their awards.
They have completed either foundation certificate, degree or postgraduate programmes.
And seven luminaries of the arts world were also honoured for their work with students at the Mount Street performing arts college by being made LIPA Companions.
Among them was Grammy Award-winning Billy Ocean, the UK’s biggest-selling black recording artist.
He told graduates and their guests: "If I burst into tears, don’t laugh at me."
The other companions were former Madonna dancer Steve Nestar, studio designer and acoustics expert David Bell, record label executive Caroline Elleray, community arts creator Chris Johnston, musical theatre actor Hannah Waddingham and lighting designer Paule Constable, the latter of whom could not attend the ceremony.
LIPA’s founding principal Mark Featherstone-Witty said: "This year roughly 135 practitioners contributed to our learning which is quite a total for a place in the provinces.
"No institution is better than its teachers.
"There’s no substitute for learning from the best.
"Outstanding practitioners share their knowledge for all the disciplines we teach and help us maintain the employment record – 96% in work after three years – of our talented graduates."
Meanwhile Merseyside music broadcaster and writer Spencer Leigh was made an Honoured Friend.