The Music Service has a new home.
The Department of Education and Children-run service has relocated to St Ninian’s Lower School, Onchan, from its former base in Lord Street, Douglas.
The school is now home to the Music Service’s teaching and administration staff and will be the setting for music lessons, professional development for teachers, rehearsals and exams, including external board exams taken by several hundred children and adults throughout the year. It will be the meeting place for some of the Music Service and community-run groups and choirs.
‘The former premises, which were leased from the Department of Infrastructure, had insufficient parking and drop off/pick-up, being situated on a busy main road, and facilities were located over two floors, with no lift, all of which made access difficult for students and teachers carrying instruments,’ explained Richard Collister, Estates Director.
There was inadequate storage for both instruments and the service’s huge catalogue of music manuscripts, scores, sheet music and educational resources. Poor climate control and noise from the street affected rehearsals and exams.
‘The new facilities, on the first floor of the school at Bemahague, provide good access and parking, a dedicated rehearsal and examination room, space for storage of instruments and archiving of music, with specialist racking, plus a room for peripatetic staff, who work around schools but need a base for preparations/planning,’ Mr Collister said. ‘The rehearsal space will be available for external letting.
‘The proximity of the Music Service to St Ninian’s own music department provides opportunities for close liaison and shared use of facilities for the benefit of the school’s own students and others.’
Maggie Richardson, Head of Music Service, added
‘It is exciting to see the new centre take shape and we are looking forward to working with the staff and pupils of St Ninian’s Lower School, as well as other schools and community groups, in such pleasant surroundings. Public access to our library and other facilities will be much easier than in Lord Street and I hope we will continue to see plenty of visitors.’
An open day will be announced in due course.