Canadian singer is first Liverpool Beatles graduate

Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, Beatles graduate
Image caption The Beatles graduate is also a singer and actress

A Canadian singer has become the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles.

Former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy signed up for the course at Liverpool Hope University when it launched in March 2009.

The 53-year-old, who has recorded three albums, was the first to graduate of the 12 full-time students who joined the Master of Arts course.

She said: "I am so proud of my achievement."

"The course was challenging, enjoyable and it provided a great insight into the impact The Beatles had and still have to this day across all aspects of life," she added.

"The faculty and students at Liverpool Hope University were crucial in providing an unforgettable experience and their support was invaluable."

As well as examining the studio sound and composition of The Beatles' back catalogue, the course looks at how the city of Liverpool helped to shape their music.

Award nomination

The significance of their music and how it helped to define identities, culture and society is also examined.

Mike Brocken, founder and leader of the Beatles MA course, said: "This programme is the only postgraduate degree programme in the world of its kind.

"Mary-Lu now joins an internationally recognised group of scholars of Popular Music Studies who are able to offer fresh and thought-provoking insights into the discipline of musicology."

Ms Zahalan-Kennedy is a professional singer and actress who was nominated for a Juno award for Most Promising Female Vocalist in Canada in 1983.

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