It is that time of year when you look back on the past year and what has been achieved and look forward to a further year with hope and exciting plans.
For BSPA 2023 has proved to be one of our busiest and most exciting years so far.
It started with the fabulous news that we had been granted “Body of Persons” approval by the EANI and as someone who has the responsibility of sorting Performance Licences for all our schools show, Corporate events etc this was an amazing start to the year.
We featured in the Radio Ulster show “Roar of the Greasepaint” produced by John Anderson and it was humbling to listen to our pupils, teachers and parents explaining what BSPA meant to them and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their kind words.
In February we took our amazing Disney Dazzle team under their production team of Peter, Adam and Oprah, to perform at Disneyland Paris and they performed at the Videopolis with enthusiasm, professionalism and wowed the gathered crowds. We were so proud of them and loved also watching them have fun in the park with their families and friends.
BSPA was thrilled to hear the exciting news that our Drama teacher has won a BAFTA for his short film “An Irish Goodbye”. This was an amazing achievement for this young Director along with his partner Tom Berkley. It was just the start as they then went on to win the Oscar and we were delighted when Ross visited his two schools bringing the two famous trophies to show his pupils. What a role model and inspiration to our pupils and we cant wait to see what comes next for Ross.
IN 2023 BSPA produced 8 amazing school shows and for the first time our BSPA Juniors all produced their own shows at Stranmillis. BSPA Voices were privileged to be invited to to preform in Stormont Buildings at the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in front of a distinguished invited audience. They were also invited back to perform recently to a delegation of important American visitors along with the amazing performers of Peter Corry Productions.
Our Midweek classes continued to grow and we were delighted at the Amazing results they all achieved in their LAMDA and LCM exams with thanks for the incredible support of their teachers Julie Alderdice and Kat Regan
At the end of term we were all thrilled to hear that our Artistic Director: Peter Corry had been award the MBE in the Kings Birthday Honours list for services to Music and the Arts in N Ireland, such amazing news as we broke up for the summer.
Plans for the summer of 23 had been to simply do one large Summer Project but when a show we had always dreamed of producing suddenly came available things changed. This summer we produced two shows with Shrek Jr for the younger students and for our Senior Project we were delighted. to return to the MAC Theatre with Les Miserables School Edition. With the addition of two shorter projects for our younger pupils it proved an incredible summer with rave reviews from our audiences. A summer of creating magical memories for lots of young people and high expectation of summer productions for the following year.
The demand for places in both our main schools and BSPA Juniors meant we decided to open a new school at Belfast South followed in November by a new School in Bangor and an extra BSPA Juniors class at Lisburn and Ballymena. This also meant new teachers and we were delighted to welcome, Johanna, Nik, Abbie, Chris, Sinead and Anna to join the growing BSPA Teaching Team and a need to advertise for new staff for our Cover lists.
In September we were also delighted to be approved as a Trinity Exam Centre and we launched a Level 4 diploma for our Performance Academy under the guidance of Nik Parkes.
We also formed a partnership with Burns Skills School and look forward to providing Musical Theatre After school classes to many pupils throughout N Ireland in 2024.
December saw BSPA Voices performing at Christmas At the Cathedral along side Peter and his special guest Rachel Tucker and under the Musical Direction of Ashley Fulton. We were delighted to hear the news yesterday that he has been awarded an MBE for his services to Music in N Ireland.
We are so proud of our pupils, several of whom this year appeared in short films, TV programmes or starred in shows with other Companies. We are also so proud that so many of our past pupils are now following their dreams at stage school or doing Drama or Music at University. It has been a great year for BSPA with news of Oscars BAFTA’s, MBE’s and our pupils starring on the West End, Professional tours, Pantomimes and working professionally doing what they love and we wish them all continued success.
I will end 2023 by thanking every single person who has helped ensure our pupils have an amazing time whether in class or during performances. There are far too many to mention individually but I look forward to thanking you all in the New Year at our staff night out.
To Peter I add a special thanks, it has been a busy year especially for you as you mark 30 years in the business. Your support, patience, advice and gentle encouragement when making hard decisions has been very much appreciated. Having been in awe of the performances you inspired from our pupils in Les Miserables in the summer I can’t wait to see what you do with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” next Summer.
To our parents, huge thanks for your continued support both to ourselves and to your children and we are excited to re our plans for 2024 and to watch rehearsals for 10 main school shows and 5 BSPA Junior shows.
Happy New year to all at BSPA and I hope you enjoy looking back at a small selection of the memories for 2023!