From education to employment

Pendleton’s Performing Arts Department welcomes back two familiar faces

Pendleton Sixth Form College’s Performing Arts Department welcomes back Neil G Bennett as the new Head of ‘The Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts’, and college alumni Joseph Meighan who has been appointed Associate Theatre Director.

 The department is nationally acclaimed for producing some of the finest performers in the business. They are known for their spectacular Season of Shows and their high calibre of student talent, and now the Beacon award winning department has brought back two familiar faces; former staff member Neil, and former student Joseph Meighan, to help continue their success.

Neil and Joe join an already impressive creative team at the college. Between them they will be responsible for ‘The Pendleton Season of Shows’; the calendar of professional productions put on for the general public in which students can audition to be a part of.

They will also be responsible for the extensive enrichment activity that surrounds the students’ studies. The pair will be using their broad industry experience to assist with acting, musical theatre, dance and technical theatre auditions for drama schools and dance academies as well as managing the college choirs, The Pendleton Chamber Choir and The Pendleton Consort of Voices.

Both Neil and Joe have a breadth of knowledge to share with students at the college, thanks to their fruitful careers.

Neil, a professional organist, completed a scholarship at Chetham’s School of Music and Cambridge University. He then began a professional career as a conductor of choirs and orchestras, and was musical director at The Players’ Theatre in London’s West End.

During his extensive career with the American Musical Company of New York and the Broadway Musical Company, Neil lived in New York and arranged and conducted musicals for productions in the USA and Europe.

Since leaving Pendleton some years ago, Joe has had a successful career too, as a theatre director and actor. After studying at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Joe went on to direct productions including Les Miserables, Romeo and Juliet, The Phantom of the Opera and GHOST. He is also the artistic director and founder of MYT Productions in Manchester, a youth theatre group.

Neil Bennett said, upon his return: “Joe and I are thrilled to be working together in such a vibrant and dynamic performing arts community, and we look forward to wonderful collaborations ahead.”

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