Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made their first royal trip abroad this week to Ireland and began by visiting Dublin, where BIMM students – past and present – entertained the royal couple.
It was a fantastic opportunity for the students which took place on an outdoor stage at Customs House Quay, an architectural masterpiece that has been a Dublin landmark for over two hundred years.
The royal performance came about through BIMM Dublin’s Head of Events and Guests, Ann Marie Shields, who guided the students through dress code and etiquette. Ann Marie was production manager for the outdoor event and a great deal of meticulous planning went into it, from stage set up to council and security clearances, as well as liaising with the Palace and British Embassy Foreign Office to plan every detail including performances and set lists. Ann Marie engaged the services of EQ Audio and Events to look after sound production who she says did a stellar job:
“It was an honour to be involved in such a high-profile event. An extraordinary experience from the early planning stages until the moment I had the pleasure of meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and talking to them about all the fabulous talent we are nurturing at BIMM. Everyone we dealt with from the British Embassy, the Palace, and the Gardaí were all absolutely lovely and very supportive and helpful throughout. Our students and tutors did us proud on the day with exceptional performances.”
Songwriting student Stephen Gormley and his band Moon Looks On – consisting of three current BIMM students and three alumni -performed, as did Leila Jane who is studying a BA (Hons) in Commercial Modern Music in Songwriting with her fantastic roots blues-folk band Leila Jane and The Healers.
Stephen – who is going into his 4th and final year – commented on this once-in-a-lifetime experience:
“It was a brilliant, unique experience to play for the royal couple and to represent BIMM. Moon Looks On were delighted to be involved in such a prestigious event, and it was just another example of the enormous amount of gigs and opportunities that have come our way since undertaking the BA in Commercial Modern Music course at BIMM Dublin. We played seven songs including our latest single ‘Pray for the Rain‘ that we released this week. The sound was pristine!”
Leila Jane was equally as thrilled to be picked:
“It was a real honour; I felt so privileged to be there and lovely to see the royal couple visiting Dublin. We played before Harry and Megan came out to greet the crowd and afterwards again. We saw them, and I even got a photo of the Duchess of Sussex shaking hands with my lecturer Ann Marie Shields.”
Along with the Duke & Duchess of Sussex, the BIMM students then watched the fantastic teenagers from the Liber8 Music Project – a joint BIMM, Digital Hub initiative for 14-16-year-olds living in Dublin and surrounding areas. Liber8 Music Project provides an opportunity for kids who may have limited exposure to music and digital media to express themselves creatively. BIMM tutors Kieran McGuinness (Liber8 Course Leader), Shelley Bukspan, Dave McGee, and Danny Snow did an extraordinary job preparing the youngsters along with BIMM graduates Claire Mullholland and Michael Meakin.
We’re all very proud of the BIMM students’ royal performance – it’s clearly a day that they’ll never forget.