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Music Centre celebrates its 40th birthday

News | Published:

SATURDAY celebrations marked 40 years of music-making for the Guernsey Music Centre.

A day of performances in the Sir John Loveridge Hall of Beau Sejour included an open day from 9am until 3.30pm followed by two concerts.

The final concert of the day saw former and current students play together in an orchestra of 100 musicians.

The event was sponsored by the centre’s long-term sponsor, BWCI, which also celebrate its 40th anniversary this year.

Mervyn Grand , who has been head of the service for 19 years retires in two weeks.(25023213)

Music Centre head of service Mervyn Grand has been involved with the centre for 19 years.

‘This year all of our musicians are performing at this new venue, we don’t normally come here.

‘This means they can be in bigger groups and can combine in different ways, it’s really large group music.

‘We have involved previous students from throughout the 40 years to sing and play alongside current students and it demonstrates the impact music has had on the island.’

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Mr Grand said a number of events were scheduled for the year to celebrate the anniversary including a trip to Canada in July which will see 100 students stay at Brock University.

Louise Madden, 17, has been a part of the Music Centre since she was six, playing the violin and participating in the choirs.

‘I’m there every Saturday from nine until three, if I could do this all day, all week that would be great,’ she said.

‘I think that the provision that you get is not something that can always be provided at school but I think it is so important for young children to be able to get into music.’

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Louise said she was hoping to study music at university, and knew others who had done so or hoped to do so, thanks to the training received from the centre.

Theo Pattimore, 10, was just beginning his Music Centre journey, having joined last year and took performed on Saturday.

‘I was playing percussion [in primary brass and primary woodwind], I played the drums and the glockenspiel.'

Theo said he had woken up on Saturday morning worried his playing would not go well, but that once he was out there there had been nothing to worry about.

‘It was quite fun,’ he said.

He said 40 years was a long time for the centre to be running.

‘I think it’s important because they’ve had a lot of people there and the teachers must have done a good job for it to have been here for 40 years.’

The only person who has been head of service apart from Mr Grand is John Whomersley who began the centre. However Mr Grand will be retiring from his post in two weeks and will hand over his role to Tim Wright.

‘I wish them all the best for the next 40 years,’ said Mr Grand.

Charlotte Le Marquand

By Charlotte Le Marquand
News reporter

Charlie Le Marquand

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