Latest News | 21 August 2023

Musical duo secure places at prestigious performing arts school

DCG (Derby College Group)
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A pair of talented musicians who studied on the same course at Derby College Group have secured places at a world-renowned performing arts school.

Owen Doherty and Declan Dean, who both achieved distinctions in their Music Performance Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma at the Joseph Wright Centre, have gained places at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts ( LIPA).

The institute, which was famously co-founded by Beatle Paul McCartney on the site of his old school, attracts more than 3,000 applications a year for just 250 places.

Guitarist Owen said: “I was also studying Maths and Computer Science A-levels at Joseph Wright Centre and thought my future might be in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects.

“It was my music lecturer, Matt Shirtliff, who talked to me about options to study music at university, so I decided to apply to LIPA. It was good careers advice.”

Bass player Declan said: “I was friends with Owen throughout school and it’s mainly down to him that I got into music.

“I was quite shy when I was 13 so I chose the music course in Year 9 because he was on it.

“I really liked the Joseph Wright Centre. The music studio is so good. The PA system, soundproofing and things like the bass amps are cool and the recording equipment is great too.”

Both Owen and Declan, who are currently in a band together, said they would like to work as session musicians when they graduate.

Declan said: “I’m so looking forward to going to LIPA. It’s really well thought of and hard to get into.

“There will be so many opportunities for us to play with other musicians, start new bands and get gigs.”

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