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From NWRC to McKinley High….Damian’s Glee dream comes true

North West Regional College Performing Arts student Damian McGinty is swapping the College’s Foyle Building Theatre in Derry~Londonderry for the classrooms and choir room of Glee’s McKinley High.  The 18 year old was a student on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts at NWRC, Northern Ireland, when he was invited to audition for the latest reality TV phenomenon, The Glee Project, in the USA.

Over recent weeks, Damian’s faced challenges in singing, dancing and acting, competing against 11 other hopefuls; on US network Oxygen last night, along with fellow Glee contender Samuel Larson, Damian was announced as joint winner of the show. Both young men will now both get a seven-episode guest role written specifically for them on series 3 of Glee.

Damian’s lecturer Anne McMaster says:

"To say I’m delighted for Damian is an understatement; these past two years, I’ve found him to be an extremely talented young man – thoughtful, polite, eager to learn, completely unassuming and totally professional in his attitude towards performing.  He’s one of the most ego-free young actors I’ve ever been privileged to work with; Damian simply exists to perform and will always be driven by the need to develop and hone his craft – well seen in his time on The Glee Project! I encourage an open door policy in Performing Arts, and our team of staff develop strong links with our students’ parents; this has been very much the case with Damian’s parents, Damian senior and Joanne, both of whom I’ve been delighted to get to know. They’ve supported and guided Damian to becoming the well-grounded, quietly confident young man that he is – qualities that will take him far. My best wishes go to Damian and to his family; I’m excessively proud of everything he has achieved – and I know that this is only the beginning!"  

The College’s Level 2 Diploma, Level 3 Extended Diploma and new Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts are all based in the stunning new £18m Foyle Building on the Strand Road campus in Derry~Londonderry; this space not only contains a fully-equipped 140 seat professional theatre with rehearsal spaces, but also a dance studio, Green Room, Stagecraft construction room (with an additional computer suite for stage and costume design), dressing rooms (with video and audio links to the stage), scene dock, costume storage and maintenance rooms and installations of the latest theatrical lighting and sound equipment; combined with staff who are industry-proficient, this creates an environment which enables students to gain invaluable theatrical experience both onstage and backstage. 

Before he left for the bright lights of LA, Damian said, “This [Performing Arts] course has been an incredible experience.  I’ve loved every last minute of it.  It’s taught me a lot, it’s pushed me forward, and introduced me to parts of show-business I never knew existed.”

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