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Chic drummer backs LIPA student’s Gospel dream

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Chic drummer backs LIPA student’s Gospel dream
Second-year BA (Hons) Music student Joiada Thomas only found out when Ralph made an unexpected visit to LIPA on 20 February. Joiada said: “I was overwhelmed when Ralph turned up and so surprised, but a nice surprise – and I’m so grateful.”

Ralph met pianist Joiada during a LIPA masterclass just before Christmas. After the session, Joiada emailed Ralph to tell him how he’d love to attend the True Worship Summit, which is coming to the UK for the first time – but couldn’t afford a ticket. Ralph was impressed by what he read. “I like to help people whenever I can and it was nice knowing he has not let anything in his life stop his forward motion. I can relate to that.”

The platinum ticket to the three-day event in March comes courtesy of one of Ralph’s music industry contacts, a high-profile singer who wants to remain anonymous. For Joiada, whose love of Gospel goes back to his childhood, it’s a wonderful opportunity. “To see some of the top American Gospel artists, who I love, but don’t often play in the UK is great.

“Hopefully, I’ll also learn more about musicianship and what it means and takes to be a Gospel musician.”

LIPA holds regular masterclasses for students. Damon Albarn, Toyah Wilcox and Ralph’s Chic bandmate Nile Rodgers have all visited over the last six months. Ralph, who’s also worked with Paul Simon, Prince, Lady Gaga and Aretha Franklin, said: “I was just honoured to be asked to come here and be in the building. I just love teaching and the students were very responsive.”

Photo: Joiada and Ralph at LIPA