Change at the top at Wiltshire Music Centre

THERE has been a change at the top of the management at Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon. Maud Saint-Sardos has stepped down as chief executive and the current artistic director James Slater has taken over as interim chief executive until a public recruitment process in 2021.

Miss Saint-Sardos, who joined in WMC in 2017, has a new role as Cheffe des Productions Pédagogiques at the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon, near her hometown in France.

During her time at Bradford-on-Avon, she drew on her first career in finance and project management for global banking corporations to develop WMC’s operations as a professional concert hall, community centre and creative learning hub.

The music centre’s portfolio of Creative Learning and Community Engagement activities has doubled in scale. Flagship projects include the county-wide project, Celebrating Age Wiltshire, which supports the well-being of isolated older people through arts and culture activities and recently received a £385,500 National Lottery Community Fund grant. There is a new partnership with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra to provide progression routes for young jazz players through the Wiltshire Jazz Academy.

In 2018, Wiltshire Music Centre became the first new venue to host national disability arts festival, Fast Forward, in partnership with Bristol Music Trust, celebrating innovative approaches for accessible participation, including the centre’s own Zone Club for young learning disabled adults. In the same year, a new annual community festival Big Family Music Day was launched.

Other achievements during Miss Saint-Sardos’ tenure include new Box Office systems, policy and procedures to support the Centre’s commercial activities, compliance and more rigorous financial management. This work which was undertaken as part of an ambitious three-year business plan has underpinned the centre’s ability and agility to respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information about Wiltshire Music Centre’s artistic, creative learning and community engagement programmes, visit www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk