College's new recording studio named after West End star
- Credit: Barking and Dagenham College
A college's new recording studio has been named after a former student turned West End star.
The Shaun Escoffery Studio was unveiled at the East London Institute of Technology, part of Barking and Dagenham College. It boasts a dedicated audio edit suite and recording equipment.
Shaun studied at the college in the 1990s, initially on an architecture course before his love of singing saw friends persuade him to join the performing arts course instead.
In 2001, the R&B singer released his first single, with his debut album following a year later.
Shaun has spent the last 12 years playing Mufasa in The Lion King, and earlier this year made history as the longest-standing actor in the world to play the role.
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Other notable achievements include becoming the first black actor to play Enjolras in Les Miserables, despite having no experience in singing opera before winning the role.
On being recognised by his former educational establishment, Shaun said: “I am completely overwhelmed, it’s vastly different to when I attended the college. I cut my teeth here, I really did and I learnt a lot in this place. Now, with these amazing facilities, the students are in really good stead.
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“I’ve never seen anything like it. Having the studio named after me, which could put some professional studios to shame, is absolutely brilliant.
“I’m extremely proud of being a former performing arts student at Barking and Dagenham College and the students have a lot to look forward to coming here.”
The studio was officially named at an event on Thursday, December 10 where Shaun treated pupils and staff to a rendition of his song Days Like This.
Media students were given the task of filming, producing and editing footage from the day as well as managing lights and sound during the event.
Assistant principal Jason Turton interviewed Shaun before performing arts students were given the chance to ask their own questions about his career and route to stardom.
Jacob Sharples, a 17-year-old student from Dagenham, said: “It was really fun, such a great experience to listen to Shaun talk and sing. I love his music and his personality. He was so friendly.”