Wiltshire Music Centre

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Wiltshire Music Centre is a 300-seat concert hall in Bradford on Avon and has been described as having ‘the finest acoustic outside London’.[1] The Centre puts on approx. 100 concerts a year[2] including critically acclaimed artists such as Claire Martin OBE & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Courtney Pine[3] , John Williams[4] Imogen Cooper CBE and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and many more. Wiltshire Music Centre Trust Ltd is an independent charity run by a small team of 10 employees, who are supported by a team of approx. 85 volunteer stewards.[5]

Concert Programme[edit]

Wiltshire Music Centre opened in 1998, built with funding from one of the first National Lottery grants for art projects; £1.74 million towards overall design and build costs.[6]

The first event to take place at the Centre was the BBC Radio 4 Any Questions? programme in January 1998.[7] Any Questions? returned to the Centre on 1 July 2011 with Billy Bragg, Deborah Meaden, Shaun Woodward and Steve Webb as panelists.[8][9]

The Princess Royal opened the Centre on 29 April 1998[7] and the first concert was performed by international pianist John Lill on 7 March 1998. In May 2004, the Trust was invited to a reception at Number 10 Downing Street to celebrate outstanding achievements in the arts.[10]

The Centre's programme and visitor levels grew year on year during its first decade, and in recent years the Centre has offered a programme of classical, jazz, folk and world music to more than 20,000 audience members.[2]

The Centre promotes on average 50 professional concerts every year, as well as providing a performance venue for 30 local amateur and professional groups and on average 30 local young people’s participation events.[2]

In 2011 the Centre’s concerts and participation events attracted more than 60,000 people into the Centre.[2] On 24 January 2012, the town of Bradford on Avon became an honorary city for the day after winning a competition run by BBC Radio 5 Live. In celebration, the Tony Livesey show was broadcast live in front from Wiltshire Music Centre on the evening of 24 January.[11][12]

Education work[edit]

The Centre is home to a variety of orchestras, choirs and other music groups.[13][14] The Centre was founded on a commitment to nurture musical ability or interest, regardless of age or background, and runs projects aimed at delivering strong musical experiences.[5]

The Centre has worked with most special schools and many of the primary schools in Wiltshire, as well as a number of the county's secondary schools.[2] In 2007 Wiltshire Music Centre played a key role in launching South West Music School; a virtual school which provides advanced training for gifted young musicians and singers, aged 8 to 18.[15] In 2011 the Centre’s concerts and participation events attracted more than 60,000 people into the Centre.[2]

External links[edit]