September 29th, 2016

Could Stratford Music Centre still be saved?

Could Stratford Music Centre still be saved? Could Stratford Music Centre still be saved?

THE MUSIC may not be over for a much-loved Stratford music school which was set to close after more than four decades.

Stratford Music Centre was faced with closure in September, 43 years after it opened.

It comes after the centre failed to agree terms with Stratford College, where it is currently based. The college say they would be sorry to see the centre’s service to the community end.

But since announcing the news, the centre – which has taught hundreds of students aged four to 83 – has been contacted by organisations and well-wishers wanting to help keep it running.

Now the team – whose former students include Les Miserables and Star Wars actress Kate Fleetwood and Jools Holland trumpeter Chris Storr – are hopeful the service could yet be saved.

Head of the centre Margaret Tattersall told The Observer: “We have received a significant number of emails and calls from current and former students and parents, together with a number of organisations and agencies dismayed at our announcement and anxious to see if they could assist us with finding ways of continuing our activities.

“The clear message is our provision is greatly valued and would be a significant loss to the community. We have been overwhelmed by the response and do very much appreciate the support that we have. We are very grateful to those who have been in touch with us.”

The staff who provide the centre’s tutoring in music, dance and drama are hopeful they will be able to continue on a reduced basis or as a partnership with another organisation.

Margaret said: “Our principal concern is to try to make it possible for our current students to continue their lessons and other activities.

“Whether possible, and in what form – either as a restructured centre or in partnership with others – we hope will emerge in the next few weeks.”

The centre formed in 1973 to cater for those studying for performing art exams or just wanting to have fun.

Some 27 professional musicians provide the tutoring, with students going on to perform everywhere from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to theEdinburgh Fringe Festival. They most recently welcomed Status Quo drummer Leon Cave as a guest tutor.

Visit www.stratfordmusiccentre.org.uk for updates.

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