Sir Paul Graces FSSA With his Presence

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On Monday, October 7th the halls of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts were buzzing. The school was getting a visit from someone famous, but who? Rumors were flying that it was anyone from Joseph Gordon Levitt and Miley Cyrus to Mick Jagger. It turns out the famous guest was none other than Sir Paul McCartney, who was coming to FSSA’s Tony Bennett concert hall to perform a mini-concert and master class sponsored by iheartradio. McCartney performed for approximately 400 students on Wednesday, October 9th.

Despite being 71 years old, Mr. McCartney was a ball of energy for the entire show. He started the nearly two-hour set with an awesome performance of The Beatles’ “8 days a Week” and kept the momentum going with “Save us,” a song from his brand new album New, which is to be released on October 14th. He dedicated the song to his wife, Nancy Shevall, who was in the crowd, leading to a big “Aww” from the audience.

While all the songs he performed were memorable, those that stuck out were “Blackbird,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, and of course “Hey Jude”, a quintessential Beatles song.

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Every two or three songs he took a break in which he was interviewed by radio DJ Jim Kerr and answered questions by Frank Sinatra School of the Art’s very own students. Most of the questions asked were about his musical career. In response to one such question in which he was asked about the greatest lesson he learned in his career, he responded “I was terrified of doing anything wrong on stage. But then I learned that people don’t mind, they actually kind of like it.”

Commenting about the performance, Mr. Stevens, assistant principal, said that the students present got to see a musical icon.

“When you think of artists of his stature, who are we talking about? In the last 70 years you have Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, John Lennon  and Paul McCartney,” said Mr. Stevens. “These are people that have been bigger than life; who changed the world through their music and whose music will last forever much like the way we see the music of Bach, Mozart or Beethoven. Paul McCartney lives in our lifetime and he is timeless.”

While the performance was amazing and a great opportunity for all those involved, not all the students were happy. Only students with a ninth period were allowed to attend causing somewhat of an uproar among students without one, many of them upperclassmen. They didn’t believe it was fair to invite some students, but not others to see such a legendary personality.

Ms. Finn, FSSA Principal, told The Bennett that because the event was hosted by Clear Channel Entertainment, there were a lot of outside people in attendance. According to Ms. Finn, only a certain number of seats were reserved for FSSA students. She said the school did the best they could under the circumstances, being that they only found out about this amazing opportunity a few weeks ago.

A live video of the performance will be streamed via Yahoo on Monday, October 14.

by Lucie Pierre-Louis ’14

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