A RECORD number of pupils and staff arrived at Shiplake College this month to start the academic year and were excited to find the magnificent new John Turner Building open and ready for use.
The building will be transforming the lives of all who study, live and work at the college. This is particularly so for those in the music and art departments, who had previously been based in cramped Portakabins while the building was constructed. Everyone, however, will soon be reaping the benefits of the 140-seater lecture theatre and the revolutionary “Thinking Space”.
The music department now boasts two large ensemble classrooms, each equipped with Apple Macs linked to piano keyboards, with music software for composition and audio editing. They will also offer improved spaces for choir, orchestra and ensemble practice, as well as for the Music for All programme which provides the boys in Year 7 with free group lessons on a musical instrument.
There are seven practice rooms, including a dedicated drums room with additional sound-proofing, which the 90 boys and girls who receive individual music tuition (in brass, strings, woodwind, piano, voice, guitar and drums) will now use to great effect.
There is also a recording studio, which links to the lecture theatre, to allow for top-quality recording of practices, performances and talks. It surely won’t be long before some of the many bands that are created between the pupils are recording their first hit albums!