Multi Grammy award-winning producer of James Bond theme tune Skyfall to help Sunderland's rising stars

A music industry giant has become patron of a music venture dedicated to turning university students into the stars of tomorrow.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 4:00 pm

Legendary producer Paul Epworth – who has won five Grammys and an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Skyfall – has come on-board the programme which will work in partnership with the University of Sunderland.

The programme is a collaboration between the University and the Northern Academy of Music Education (NAME) – made up of Barry Hyde, from the Futureheads, and business partner Dan Donnelly, who has performed with Celtic Social Club, The Wonder Stuff, and The Levellers.

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Pub owners Barry Hyde and Dan Donnelly from The Peacock in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

The adding of Paul as patron of NAME is seen as a huge coup for the programme.

Paul said: “I’m flattered and honoured to be involved in such an important project to provide educational access to students from a broad range of backgrounds and abilities.

“With the experience that Barry and Dan have gained over their years in the music industry there can be no better set-up to offer educational opportunities to the community.”

The first cohort of around 30 students will be based in music studios in the art and cultural heart of Sunderland, and will offer unique opportunities for a fresh wave of artists looking to break through.

Barry said: “To have Paul involved as a patron of NAME and our community music activities is absolutely incredible.

“The Futureheads had the tremendous fortune of being one of the very first bands Paul worked with as a producer in 2003 and it goes without saying his visionary abilities were hugely important to the initial success of the band.

“He is a global leader in modern music production and the gravitas he brings to our project is immeasurable.”

Students will be partly based in Birdland Studios, located in renovated rooms above The Peacock, while the academic side will take place in rooms at the nearby Fire Station venue.

Barry added: “It focuses on the real nuts and bolts of professional music from writing, events management, production and traditional music skills.”

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