WILTSHIRE Music Centre at Bradford-on-Avon has reopened after nearly six months, with a programme of concerts from classical to jazz to folk.
In July the centre launched a £60,000 Community Fundraising Appeal to help to reopen the venue for an autumn and winter programme that puts the community centre stage. With the closure affecting more than 65,000 people who regularly play, teach, learn, listen and enjoy music through the centre’s programmes, the aim was to get back to business as soon as possible.
Nearly £33,000 has been raised and the centre is once again welcoming teachers, students, choirs, ensembles and community groups for activities in the nine teaching and practice spaces. Measures to keep visitors, musicians and staff members safe include new room layouts and a one-way system, clear signage and hand sanitiser across the building, and the wearing of a face covering is highly recommended.
Wiltshire Music Centre chief executive Maud Saint-Sardos says: “We’ve missed the bustle of people coming into the building every day to enjoy music together, the hubbub of activity from young musicians and conversations in corridors between artists and teachers lending professional support to one another. The exceptional past six months have demonstrated just how important our role is as a community centre first and foremost.”
On Saturday 26th September the plan is for a free community concert, featuring performances by many of the centre-based groups, including Wiltshire Young Musicians, the Zone Club and many more, – followed by a performance by local folk stars the Carrivick Sisters. .
The October to December, programme will be a series of 15 concerts by world class jazz, classical and folk artists, including a jazz cabaret with Claire Martin and Nikki Iles, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, pianist Tom Poster and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, and award-winning folk group Leveret.
With social distancing in place, live audience capacity will be limited for these events but there are plans for some of the concerts to be live-streamed.
Artistic director James Slater says: “We are very proud to be able to present a mini season of live and online events in the coming months, and the opportunity to get back to normal by inviting some of our regular artists to perform again on the WMC stage feels very special.”
For more information about the programme and the fund-raising appeal www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk
Pictured: Pianist Tom Poster and folk group Leveret.