Neil Finn.
Neil Finn.

Neil Finn surprises Qld teacher with response

SOMETIMES, all you have to do is ask. That was the case when a Brisbane high school teacher reached out to her idol, Neil Finn, via Twitter.

Karyn Chapman, of Mary MacKillop College in Nundah, "jumped up and down in the staff room" when she read the reply.

Ms Chapman runs the school's film and TV program, which includes a music video unit as part of Year 11, but finding royalty-free music to use can be a problem.


They usually source music from royalty free websites such as Bensound or Purple Planet, unless they have express permission from the artist.

But they never expected to hear from someone as famous as Neil Finn.

Ms Chapman's bold question came after a query from a US fan via Twitter:

That prompted Ms Chapman to ask her question.

Ms Chapman has been a fan of the Split Enz and Crowded House musician since she was a teenager.

"For my 13th birthday my mum and dad bought 10 tickets for my friends and I to see Split Enz in Adelaide," she said.

"I've occasionally tweeted him. He followed me once, which was exciting, but he's never replied before."

In fact, there are plenty of fans at Mary MacKillop College.

"We use his music a lot in his liturgies and assemblies at the college," Ms Chapman said.

"Our assistant principal Cath Rodden, whenever she has to put something together for an awards night or a speech night she'll play a Neil Finn song."

This year the school is also running a competition in conjunction with boys' school Padua College to make a music video in 24 hours.

As acquiring royalty free music is difficult, the school would be interested in hearing from emerging bands or artist who would like a music video created for them.

Ms Chapman said she hoped to encourage her students that real career prospects were possible, especially as young women entering the industry. Seven of her 16 Year 12 film and TV students would be going on to study the subject at a tertiary level, she said.

"I want my girls to have a real purpose to what they make and a real audience," she said.

"I'm very proactive about making them look at this as a potential career, particularly as women in the media, women working in film."

Neil Finn will be performing at Byron Bay Bluesfest this year on Monday, April 17