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SongLink's David Stark Honoured by Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
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LIPA Companions 2006 - David Stark, Dr Jorg Sennheiser, Lynda Bellingham, Paul McCartney and Sir Ken Robinson.
LIPA Companions 2006 - David Stark, Dr Jorg Sennheiser, Lynda Bellingham, Paul McCartney and Sir Ken Robinson.

Musical mentor David Stark was honored with the title of LIPA Companion as the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) celebrated its Graduation Day on Friday 28th July.

David is the creator and editor of SongLink International - the monthly publication and website that links publishers and songwriters to those looking for songs - andcollected the Companionship for his dedication to furthering the careers of the talented musicians who study at LIPA. The award is the equivalent of an honorary degree, and was presented to him by LIPA's founding patron, Sir Paul McCartney, whom David shared the stage with for two hours, along with the other new Companions, as listed below.

Amongst other activities, David organises an 'Ex-LIPA Showcase' for graduating music students in London; has introduced outstanding songwriters to the Institute - including Guy Chambers who also received a Companionship in 2005; and sponsors the two SongLink Prizes at Graduation Day. This year's recipients of the prizes were outstanding songwriters Juan Zelada from Spain, and Tord Overland-Knutsen from Norway, who is also a member of LIPA-based band The Wombats.

David Stark said, "It goes without saying that I'm totally honoured and delighted to be made a Companion in LIPA's 10th anniversary year, and in such distinguished company. I'm always pleased to visit LIPA and do my bit talking about songwriting and the music industry. It's heartening to know that LIPA isn't just a springboard for the performing arts, but for the creative ones as well, and that you can develop here as a songwriter, as well as a musician, singer or producer. I thank Mark Featherstone-Witty, Sir Paul McCartney and all the directors and staff at LIPA for this great honour."

Paul McCartney with singer Susan Black, Nigel Stark and David Stark
Paul McCartney with singer Susan Black, Nigel Stark and David Stark

Founding Principal and CEO Mark Featherstone-Witty said: "This has been another fabulous year in terms of welcoming highly-respected industry professionals to share their life's work with our students. At graduation we are honouring some of those people for their support of LIPA. We would also like to thank everyone, including Sir Ian McKellen and The Christians, who visited us during 2006."

A total of 265 students from 19 countries received degrees and other higher education qualifications at LIPA's graduation ceremony on Friday. The list of 2006 Companions (in alphabetical order) is:

Lynda Bellingham
Lynda has worked continuously over a 30 year career, since leaving drama school, and has participated in ten films and 35 TV shows/series including The Bill, At Home With The Braithwaites, All Creatures Great And Small, and Dr Who. She is fondly remembered as the mother in the long-running Oxo gravy series of commercials. Her theatre work includes eleven shows, the most recent being Losing Louis at the Trafalgar Studios. She is about to open at The Royal Court in a new play called Sugar Mummies.

Sir Ken Robinson
He is a leading force in the development of creativity within education and training. Sir Ken was director of the National Curriculum Council for Arts in Schools and the Director of Culture and Creativity and the Young (Council of Europe) and was the Professor of Education at Warwick University. Until recently, he was the Senior Advisor for Educational Policy for the J Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. Amongst this activity he was LIPA's first external examiner and participated in the lengthy discussions with government and bureaucracy to establish the Institute.

David Stark
If the cap fits, wear it....

Dr Jorg Sennheiser
He has been the Chairman of the Board of Sennheiser Electronic GmbH for the past ten years, after a career in the technology of sound that included both university research and project engineering. Besides running the family business he has been a dedicated teacher in electroacoustics at the University of Hannover, where he was made an honorary professor. He was instrumental in Sennheiser's generous support for the Institute with scholarships, annual prizes and acoustic donations.

Terence Stamp
(Companionship awarded in absentia)
Terence was nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA and won a Golden Globe for the Most Promising Newcomer (male) for his first film role in Billy Budd. He also appeared in Far From The Madding Crowd, Modesty Blaise and The Collector - for which he was awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival - and also notably The Hit and The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. He famously portrayed General Zod in Superman and Superman II. More recently he appeared in Star Wars: Episode I as Supreme Chancellor Valorum, and as a vengeful gangster in The Limey. He has published the first three parts of his best-selling autobiography and his first novel.

David Stark
David created, edits and publishes Songlink International - a monthly magazine that, amongst other services, links songwriters with those looking for songs. He is actively engaged in LIPA's students' futures: he hosts a LIPA Music Showcase in London, sponsors two music prizes and introduces outstanding songwriters to both students and the Institute (most notably Guy Chambers who accepted his companionship last year).

Previous Companions have included Robin Gibb, Guy Chambers, The Bangles, Willy Russell, Barbara Dixon, Tony Wilson, Arlene Philips and Joan Armatrading.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) was established by Mark Featherstone-Witty and Sir Paul McCartney and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2006. LIPA is dedicated to providing the best teaching and learning for people who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment economy, whether as performers or those who make performance possible.

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David Stark, Editor/Publisher
SongLink International
http://www.songlink.com

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