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Old Jun 11, 2005, 10:34 AM   #1
Cecilia
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Post Words of Wisdom: Sir Paul McCartney tunes in local musician

June 10, 2005 -- Leader-Post

Words of Wisdom: Sir Paul McCartney tunes in local musician

Meeting Sir Paul McCartney earlier this month was like a dream come true for Regina's Tracy Gerlach, 21, who attended the celebrity's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) in the United Kingdom.

"It was kind of surreal, right, because he's such a big star, but I managed to keep my cool, and it was really educational," said Gerlach, who added laughing, "he gave me a lot of really good ideas about song writing because he knows a thing or two about that."

LIPA opened in 1995, in the same building in which McCartney -- former member of the band the Beatles -- attended the Liverpool School for Boys in 1953. By opening the performing arts school, McCartney rehabilitated a deteriorating building he knew in his childhood.

For three years, Gerlach has been attending the celebrity's school. By standing out among the other students, Gerlach was given the rare opportunity to meet him.

"At the end of the third year, they usually pick a couple of students to have a seminar with Paul McCartney, and I was picked as one of those students," she said.

Gerlach was on her way to meeting the music legend at 12 years old. She started by taking voice lessons and learning to play piano and guitar. She then moved on to writing her own "cheesy songs about friendship."

Getting accepted to LIPA after dedicating so much of her time to music, she said, "was definitely a huge accomplishment. I think I screamed when I found out."

Now, Gerlach is working for Talking Dog Post & Sound Studios in Regina.

"I'm picking up some tricks of the trade in audio engineering and doing a little bit of composition as well," she said.

The young musician will graduate from LIPA July 29. As a final project, she must hold a public performance, which she has decided to do in her hometown.

"My band is here," said Gerlach, who also said, "I wanted to show the school what I've been working on outside of it."

The band, Broken Luck, was formed in 2000 as a partnership between Gerlach, who sings and plays bass guitar, and her sister Cheryl, who sings and plays the keyboard. The rest of the band consists of Eric Stone on drums, Will Maeder on guitar, and David Kenney on guitar.

Gerlach said she is excited about graduation and her final academic performance, because rehearsals have been going well. "We've got a good chemistry going."

And the band, said Gerlach, already has one fan in Liverpool -- her teacher.

"Broken Luck takes the more accessible elements of metal and combines them with killer hooks to form great melodic pop rock music," said Gerlach repeating what her LIPA lecturer Mark Pearman, who once formed the band Sisters of Mercy, said.

People who would like to check out the music of Broken Luck and Gerlach's final academic performance can go to Campbell Collegiate Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. for a free concert.
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 06:57 PM   #2
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What a nice story! And what a distinction, being able to claim personally learning from Paul McCartney!
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 09:03 PM   #3
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Good for her, hard work does pay off!
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