New Jackdaws music studio

THE new music studio that opened at Jackdaws in Great Elm on 25th May re-inforces the centre’s firm commitment to arts education in the South West.

The purpose built studio was funded by a legacy from the Jackdaws music eductaion trust founder, the late and celebrated mezzo-soprano Maureen Lehane.

She founded Jackdaws Music Education Trust 26 years ago with an aim to enable access to and the promotion of classical music and musicians, through courses for all and an outreach programme for young people. Her financial legacy, together with donations from more than 100 supporters, has enabled the building of The Lehane-Wishart Teaching Studio.

It is a major new addition to both Jackdaws’ facilities and the arts education sector in the South West and, alongside extra practice rooms, it brings much needed space to Jackdaws home base in Great Elm outside Frome. It will house the Steinway model D grand piano, allowing this piano’s voice to finally have an appropriate space in which to be heard.

The new studio, which has taken five years from the planning stage, is sympathetic to its beautiful surroundings, built of wood and stone, with a design which incorporates special features specifically aimed at minimising its impact on wildlife and surrounding nature in the Vallis Vale. It includes bifold doors at the rear of the studio, allowing the space to be opened up into the enclosed rose garden and the riverside setting provides a rural retreat in an idyllic location, not ten miles from Bath.

Jackdaws Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg is overjoyed with the addition: “This beautiful studio is the result of an incredible legacy from Maureen and the help supporters who have donated to the project. I am thankful to each of them and delighted that we can finally provide this, much-wanted, extra space.

“It will provide a home our regular courses and our community projects, creating a welcoming environment in which music and musicians of all abilities can flourish.”