Leeds College of Music
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|Leeds Music Centre (1965–1971), City of Leeds College of Music (1971–1997)|
3 Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7PD,
|Affiliations||European Association of Conservatoires|
Leeds College of Music (abbreviated as LCoM, formerly known as The Leeds Music Centre and the City of Leeds College of Music) is a Higher Education music conservatoire based in the Quarry Hill district of Leeds, England. It was founded in 1965 by Joseph Stones.
Aside from its education provision, which also includes short courses and programmes for adults and school-age musicians, Leeds College of Music hosts a seasonal programme of concerts, largely in its 350-seat auditorium 'The Venue'. In 2011, Leeds College of Music was awarded All-Steinway School status, becoming the only conservatoire in England to have 90% of its pianos from the Steinway family.
Leeds College of Music became a wholly owned subsidiary of Leeds City College in August 2011. Later, in 2018, the conservatoire regained its status as a Higher Education Institution. In 2019 Leeds City College Group was renamed Luminate Education Group to better reflect its portfolio of institutions, LCoM became a member of this group along with Leeds City College, Keighley College, White Rose Academies and from 1st August 2019 Harrogate College.
Leeds College of Music is partnered with Berklee College of Music as part of the Berklee International Network. LCoM is also a member of Conservatoires UK and partner of the European Association of Conservatoires.
Leeds College of Music was dissolved as a Higher Education institution in 2009 after merging with Leeds City College. After regaining Higher Education status in June 2018, LCoM will again be listed on university league tables.
Teaching and degrees
Undergraduate courses at Leeds College of Music are known as pathways; genres and styles of music that students choose to major in. Courses include Business, Classical, Film Music, Folk, Jazz, Popular, Production, Songwriting and Musical Theatre. Students may also choose to combine two pathways. The conservatoire also offers a one-year Foundation Degree certificate providing students with an extra year before commencing their undergraduate study. Completion of any three-year undergraduate pathway will result in students being awarded a Bachelor of Arts. LCoM was the first music institution in Europe to offer a Bachelor's degree in the study of Jazz music, and the first conservatoire in the UK to offer a degree in Popular music.
In addition to degree courses, Leeds College of Music is also host to a series of short courses available to children and adults. This also includes Junior LCoM, also known as the Saturday Music School, which runs courses available to children from ages 9–18. On Sundays, the conservatoire is also a host for Yorkshire Young Musicians.
Leeds College of Music was established in 1965 as the Leeds Music Centre, delivering extra-curricular music classes at the Leeds Institute building near Millennium Square, which now houses Leeds City Museum. In 1971, it became known as the City of Leeds College of Music. In 1993, the conservatoire launched the first Jazz degree in Europe.
In 2009, the conservatoire announced plans to merge with Bradford University. In the following year, LCoM instead received approval from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to merge with Leeds City College. On 1 August 2011, Leeds College of Music became a wholly owned subsidiary within the Leeds City College Group. As a result, the conservatoire lost its Higher Education Institution status, and so all undergraduate and postgraduate degrees were validated, first by Bradford University, and now the University of Hull.
In 2012, LCoM received a £2 million refurbishment for its recording studios, performance and communal spaces. This also introduced raked seating to the conservatoire's main performance space, The Venue. Funding from the government and additional private donations saw the conservatoire receiving 54 Steinway pianos in September 2011, resulting in Leeds College of Music becoming the only All-Steinway school in England at the time.
The Sounds Like THIS festival, initiated by Leeds College of Music, made its debut in March 2017, showcasing artists "who take bold new approaches to sound, incorporating electronic, classical, electroacoustic, opera and immersive visual installation". The festival received a grant from Arts Council England for the 2018 season, which launched on 12 March.
In 2017, the conservatoire revamped its performance space The Venue with a rooftop extension. In September 2017, LCoM unveiled the Leeds Music Library, a new location for their previously internal library space. Following the library's relocation, the conservatoire invested £0.5 million to refurbish the fifth floor of the main building with new practice rooms and study space.
Leeds College of Music has exported a variety of notable alumni in different musical disciplines. This includes Jazz pianists David Newton, Nikki Iles, saxophonists Pete Wareham and Alan Barnes, trumpeters Chris Batchelor and Richard Iles, and guitarist Nick Webb. Badly Drawn Boy, Snake Davis, John Thirkell, Adrian Snell, Matthew Bourne, James Lynch of Touch and Go, Michael Spearman of Everything Everything, Chris Sharkey of Trio VD and Acoustic Ladyland, Ryan and Gary Jarman of The Cribs, James Yeoburn Mark Holub and Brett Domino are also associated with the conservatoire.
Pianist Dame Fanny Waterman is former head of the Advanced Performance Course. Jazz musicians Neil Yates, Nikki Iles, Mornington Lockett, Dave O'Higgins and Omar Puente have previously taught at the conservatoire, as has the noted saxophone specialist, Richard Ingham. Vocal coach Dane Chalfin also previously taught at LCoM.
Leeds College of Music also hosts masterclasses with visiting tutors, which in the past has included singer Barb Jungr, composers Sally Beamish and Gavin Bryars, baritone Sir Thomas Allen, soprano Deborah York, jazz saxophonist Andy Schofield and jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman.
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The Venue, a 350-seat concert space based on campus, hosts the majority of the College’s Concert Season, which runs from September to May each academic year. The annual programme includes a wide variety of styles encompassing jazz, classical, contemporary, folk, popular and world music, ranging in scale from orchestras, choirs and big bands to small ensembles and solo recitals/concerts. Concerts also take place in the College’s Recital Room. Full-time LCoM students are offered discounted tickets on many of the concerts in the season.
From January 2011, the concert season will focus mainly on the College’s flagship ensembles, free twilight concerts, a small number of high-profile guest artists and concerts programmed by Leeds International Concert Season and Leeds Lieder+.
Leeds College of Music has had four principals since its opening in 1965.
- Joseph Stones (1965–1993)
- David Hoult (1993–2008)
- Philip Meaden (2008–2014)
- Gerry Godley (2014–present)
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