Monkton’s new Music Centre – official opening

What a crazy few days we have ahead! Friday and Saturday see the opening of our new £3.2M music centre. Here’s a brief run down of what the weekend holds:

Friday 6pm – Battle of the Bands
We haven’t really had a thriving band culture at Monkton in recent years, but with our new facilities, all that is set to change. Our recording studio space is as good as it gets in terms of sound isolation, so bands are now able to practise in peace – ie. without disturbing anyone! 8 new bands have been formed especially for the event, including pupils from year 7 to 13, so there will be huge variety in Friday night’s show. We also have a fine line up of judges from the professional industry – David Bates, Bob Grace, Sam Dyson and Julian Colbeck. All set to be a classic Monkton evening of entertainment.

Friday 6pm – Benefactors’ Dinner
At the same time our generous benefactors have a sneak preview of the new building, complete with champagne reception whilst the Big Band plays, and a short recital on our new Steinway piano by Bobby Chen. This is followed by dinner, and entertainment will be provided by The Choir who can’t sing! My hope is that the audience will see the transformational power of music in these 20 or so lads, all of whom were self-confessed non-singers just 6 months ago.

Saturday 10am – Chapel
A celebration service complete with choir anthems – one by an OM, the other being Charles Parry’s I was glad. Crown Imperial to finish, adding a hint of Jubilee to the proceedings!

Saturday 12.15pm – Grand Opening
Our guest of honour is world renowned soprano Dame Felicity Lott, who is cutting the ribbon for us! After that guests will be able to see around the new Music Centre, including short recitals in the David Bowerman Hall played by OMs Malcolm Drummond, Beatrice Newman and Tokino Kaga, and also musicians from Monkton Prep School.

Saturday 2.30pm – Concert
The concert in the Assembly Hall will be compered by Richard Stilgoe OM, and features our main ensembles – orchestra, concert band, chamber choir, brass group, steel pans! We will also have a massed ‘scratch’ choir of nearly 200 voices, and a performance by clarinetist (and BBC Young Musician Finalist 2012) Jordan Black OM.

It’s certainly busy here at the moment, and although the Music Centre is not officially open until this Saturday, be assured that we are using every square inch of it already!

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