Moving into the new building on Tuesday, Tuesday night saw the first Chamber Choir rehearsal in the new concert-hall.
Yesterday, Day Two of the move, saw the Sirocco Ensemble meeting for the first time this year in one of the upper rehearsal rooms:
Following this was the inaugural rehearsal of the newest departmental ensemble, the University String Sinfonia, which became the first instrumental ensemble to use the new hall.
And finally, in the evening, Concert Band and Big Band came into the new building for each of their first rehearsals here.
Today is Day Three, which will see the Cecilian Choir rehearsing in the hall this afternoon, followed by the Symphony Orchestra tonight. Which will leave Chorus to meet in the hall on Monday of next week for the first time, and we’ll have run the gamut of all the current ensembles trying out the new building. Plus the development of the building’s social spaces as its furniture is installed.
The day is here, and we’re moving into the new music building as I write – literally. I’m standing amongst various items of furniture in the new foyer, which we’re gradually dispatching to the various practice-rooms, watching the modular staging being put together that will form a performance area in the new foyer.
As is customary, we’ve been carrying chairs hither and yon; I’m sure that’s in our job descriptions somewhere. And former Music Society President and tuba-player alumnus Chris is back, helping oversee moving equipment from Eliot into the new hall.
Rehearsals will start in the new building forthwith; exciting times beckon… Follow pictures from the day on Twitter.
There was a very exciting moment partway through this week, when the hoardings around the construction site were removed; hitherto, the building has been largely hidden behind giant boards (bearing, it has to be said, though, some terrific photos of some of the Music Scholars, courtesy of @mickelous). Alas, all good things must come to an end, and the boards were taken away to reveal the exterior of the building’s reception area and practice rooms.
In the image above, the nature of the front of the building is finally revealed; the north-east corner boasts large windows around the social space, and the view continues down past the entrance lobby along the foyer; the windows along there will afford views of the foyer-space and its small performance stage. The walkway alongside will be bedecked with trees and a grassed area, in what has already been christened ‘The Boulevard’ by the Director of Music.
Above, you can clearly see the northern facade, leading around to the western-side car-park; this section houses, beyond the social space, the ground-floor practice rooms and kitchen, and above, the first-floor ensemble rehearsal rooms and staff offices.
With the move into the new building now only a few weeks away, we’re starting to get very excited indeed; we hope you are too…
The floor is down in the new concert-hall, and yesterday’s site visit really set the levels of anticipation running very high. In the company of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Keith Mander and his assistant Marianne, the Director of Music and myself toured the construction site and saw the character of the hall really beginning to emerge.
Pictured above is the flooring, covered temporarily to protect it whilst further work carries on. Light floods in from the recessed roof-light, as well as from the large windows to each side of the hall. The overall effect is of a light, airy space, enhanced by the lightness of the wooden panelling adorning the walls.
The foyer space, shown here from the balcony at the top of the stairs to the first floor, is taking shape nicely, and will offer a terrific, intimate space for chamber performances on its modular stage.
See a full gallery of all the images from yesterday, and throughout the project, by clicking the album below.