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Billy Ocean among seven new LIPA Companions

by Michael Penkman. Published Mon 25 Jul 2011 08:39
Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean

The UK’s biggest-selling black recording artist will become a LIPA Companion during a graduation ceremony on Friday 29 July.

Billy Ocean is one of seven luminaries who will receive the award from LIPA co-founder Sir Paul McCartney.

The Grammy Award-winning vocalist will be joined by 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, who will absently receive her award.

LIPA awards Companionships for two reasons: outstanding achievement and practical contribution to students’ learning.

This year, Spencer Leigh, the music writer and BBC Radio Merseyside stalwart, will become an Honoured Friend during the ceremony at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Mark Featherstone-Witty, LIPA’s Founding Principal and CEO, 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 percent in work after three years – of our talented graduates.”

Over 300 students from the UK and 22 countries, among them Chile and Iceland, will be attending the ceremony to collect awards, having completed a foundation certificate, degree or postgraduate programme.


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