In the wake of a report by BBC News (9/3/17) that ‘Music could face extinction in secondary schools’ it is refreshing to hear some rather more positive news that not only counters this but suggests that Music in Abingdon has a bright future too. The Abingdon Music Centre Trust and Larkmead School have announced a new partnership, with Abingdon Music Centre moving to premises at Larkmead School from September 2017.
Director of Abingdon Music Centre, Helen Eccleston: “We are very excited by the opportunities this new partnership brings, in particular to work with students at Larkmead School and its feeder primaries. Larkmead’s passion for ‘Arts for All’ matches perfectly with our ‘Music for Everyone’ ethos and working in partnership puts us in a stronger position to meet this aim to engage and inspire the Abingdon community in musical activities.”
Abingdon Music Centre has previously benefited from support from the local council (initially Vale, then Town) in leasing firstly The Old Gaol in 1975 and then The Old Magistrates Court in 2002 when The Old Gaol closed for development. The new developments at The Guildhall complex coincide with our lease expiring and this new partnership comes at the perfect time for us. Helen Eccleston (Director of Abingdon Music Centre): “As our organisation expands we are in need of a greater, more flexible space and the Music facilities at Larkmead are ideal for this.”
The two organisations are already working together on a project funded by Youth Music, with teachers from Abingdon Music Centre working with groups of Larkmead students towards gaining Arts Award qualifications.
A charitable organisation established over 40 years ago, The Abingdon Music Centre Trust exists to bring music to children and adults in the local community, of all ages and abilities, through a range of four choirs, community and ukulele orchestras, individual and group music lessons, workshops and outreach work. Participants’ ages range from infants to those in 90s, sometimes even in sessions together!
Chris Harris, Larkmead’s Headteacher, stated “This is a fantastic opportunity for the school to work with the community to provide musical experiences and opportunities to the widest of audiences. We are greatly looking forward to hosting and working with the Abingdon Music Centre.”