Rock on -- it's Michael D and our future chart-toppers
IRELAND'S first 'School of Rock' has received the official seal of approval from the President.
The Academy of Popular Music in CIT's Cork School of Music hopes to mirror the success of the BRIT Academy in London whose graduates include chart-toppers Jessie J, Adele and Leona Lewis.
Director Brendan Manning said he is convinced the Irish school will produce a generation of future stars given the talents already on display.
"The academy is the first of its kind in Ireland. Last year, our age group went from 12 to 18. But this year we are bringing our age group down to 10 and pushing it up to 25 years," he said.
President Michael D Higgins said the talent was nothing less than breathtaking.
He was delighted at the performance staged in his honour which included a medley featuring 'We Will Rock You' (Queen), 'My Girl' (Temptations), 'Rolling in the Deep' (Adele), 'Rocking Robin' (Bobby Day/Michael Jackson) and 'Jump' (Van Halen).
The school itself operates under the Cork School of Music/Cork Institute of Technology umbrella.
The 'School of Rock' starts only its second year for students in September and the emphasis has been firmly on pop, rock, blues and hip-hop.
It offers two main courses -- a four-year BA degree in Popular Music and a one-year 'primer' course for post-Leaving Cert students which is aimed at preparing them for the degree programme.