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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Canadian woman first to graduate with Beatles degree

From: http://www.ctv.ca/


In this image made available by Liverpool Hope University, Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011, former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy poses next to the Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool, England, after becoming the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. (Alan Edwards / Liverpool Hope University) In this undated file photograph British pop band The Beatles, John Lennon (left) Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison (right) pose for a photograph. Apple Inc. said Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, its iTunes service will sell music from the Fab Four. (AP)
In this image made available by Liverpool Hope University, Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011, former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy poses next to the Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool, England, after becoming the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. (Alan Edwards / Liverpool Hope University)

In this image made available by Liverpool Hope University, Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011, former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy poses next to the Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool, England, after becoming the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. (Alan Edwards / Liverpool Hope University)

The Associated Press
LONDON — A Canadian has become the first person to graduate from a Liverpool university's master's program on The Beatles.

But Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy says she wasn't a Fab Four fanatic when she started the degree.
Zahalan-Kennedy, a music teacher at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., was the only one in the program who "didn't know every intimate detail" about the Beatles' lives, she said.

"I mean, I certainly liked their music, but I hadn't read every book ever written on them," she said Wednesday in a phone interview from Liverpool.

Now, of course, she knows enough about them to teach a course, which she intends to do at Sheridan in the fall. Zahalan-Kennedy said she is working on an undergraduate popular music course that will draw heavily on what she learned in the program.

A former Miss Canada finalist, she signed up for the degree at Liverpool Hope University when it launched in 2009 and graduated Wednesday.

She is one of 12 full-time students enrolled.

The program, "The Beatles, Popular Music and Society," is considered by the university to be the first of its kind.

It involves much more than "just being a Beatles fan and listening to their music all day," Zahalan-Kennedy said.

"It's really about history and genres of music and semiotics, which is the language of music and ... how communities are forged with different identities happening because of the way music is delivered," she said.
The course also deals with how the port city of Liverpool helped shape the group's identity -- the university is based in the band's hometown in northwestern England.

While she doesn't have a favourite song, Zahalan-Kennedy said Paul McCartney is her favourite Beatle.

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