A MUCH-loved music school is set to close leaving staff and students ‘bitterly disappointed’.
Stratford Music Centre is an organisation which has been running for more than 42 years and has seen hundreds of students – from age four to 83 – through its doors in that time.
But the centre will close in September after failing to agree terms with Stratford College, where it is based.
Head of the centre, Margaret Tattersall said: “I and my colleagues are bitterly disappointed that we have had to take this very difficult decision. I have been involved as a parent and in the management of the centre since 1981, and many of our current parents and tutors were themselves students in the past.
“We have been unable to secure continuing arrangements with the college for the use of the premises from the end of the current term and although we have tried to find alternative venues and sufficient funding, have concluded that we have no alternative but to wind up our activities as a result.
“We are particularly distressed that all of our current students have had to be told that from September they will have no lessons or group activities. Many have been with us for a considerable time and a number have only recently joined us. We know how important our activities are to so many in developing other skills and abilities.”
The centre has been providing individual and group tuition in music, dance and drama since it first opened in 1973. It was formed 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 at the likes of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They most recently welcomed Leon Cave, the drummer from Status Quo, as a guest tutor.
The centre’s last event will be the annual Summer School which will close with a performance on Friday August 5 centered around the music of the late David Bowie.
Visit www.stratfordmusiccentre.org.uk to find out more.