2015 – Sting
28th February 2015
The 2015 Annual Lecture saw the return of the Rt Hon David Miliband to South Shields and we were delighted, as ever, to see him at Harton. This year his special guest was the pop superstar ‘Sting’ CBE with tickets being highly sought after and more popular than ever before.
Sting arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday 28th February with Mr Miliband and went straight to our main hall to do a sound check with his team. He noticed that the hall was set up for our own students and staff to perform before the main event and, without hesitation, asked us to invite the students into the hall to listen to his rehearsal. He then sat and listened intently as our musicians rehearsed themselves and even joked that he was now unsure as to who would be the main act and who would be the supporting act! Sting was then more than happy to be interviewed by the school’s News Team and to pose for numerous pictures with our guests.
Once the lecture began, I invited Mr Miliband and Sting onto the stage and Mr Miliband introduced Sting to our audience and we were then treated to a marvellous rendition of parts of his Broadway Show “the Last Ship”. Mr Miliband then asked Sting a series of interesting and probing questions to which Sting answered with great honesty and openness. It was then the turn of the audience to fire questions at Sting before he completed the show to rapturous applause by singing his wonderful hits ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Message in a Bottle’. To close the Lecture, local artist Bob Olley was invited onto the stage by Mr Miliband to present to Sting a caricature of himself, a tradition which has become popular at all of our Annual Lectures.
The comments from the gathered masses as they left the hall were quite incredible with almost everybody claiming that this had been the most successful Annual Lecture held at Harton yet. It was a huge event for the school and we felt extremely honoured and privileged to have both Mr Miliband and Sting deliver such a momentous lecture.
Sting was an absolute gentleman from start to finish and I felt incredibly proud and privileged to have met him and for so many to have enjoyed such a magnificent evening at Harton once again.
Sir Ken Gibson (Executive Headteacher)