Work on the next major project in QE’s ambitious estates strategy – a state-of-the-art new Music School – began in the summer of 2019, following a successful bid for Government funding. It is now very largely complete, with lessons taking place and the official opening scheduled for February 2022.
The Department for Education’s decision to accept our £2.2m bid meant the £3.5m-plus project could be brought forward, enabling QE to offer a host of additional facilities to our young musicians even sooner than expected.
Site works for the Music School began with the demolition of the Mayes Building in 2019; construction work on the new facility itself began in August 2020, and a topping-out ceremony took place in March 2021.
The purpose-built complex will provide essential support for our booming Music department – there are currently more than 20 ensembles at the School, while over 160 boys sing in the Choir! The Music School will feature a new performance venue (The Friends’ Recital Hall) and a number of much-needed teaching and rehearsal rooms (The Friends’ Music Rooms). These are significantly larger than our previous facilities and are fully equipped to the very latest standards. In addition, the two-storey building provides additional assembly space to accommodate our lecture programme, as well as a covered atrium (The Mayes Atrium) housing a café and providing space for boys to use at break times.
The DfE package included a £1.2m grant and a £1m loan. The success of the application to the Government would not have been possible without substantial financial support from the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s. Further FQE support, including via the Giving to QE scheme, has been vital over the past two-and-a-half years to complete the building and equip it to a high standard.
The new Music School is the latest significant development in a carefully planned estates strategy that has transformed the fabric of Queen Elizabeth’s School since the mid-1990s, enabling us to provide a truly inspirational learning environment for our boys. Major developments have included: the technologically advanced Martin Swimming Pool; the large, multi-purpose Shearly Hall, and the extensive complex opened in 2014 at the heart of the campus that includes The Queen’s Library, the Dining Hall, Café 1573 and a Food Technology Suite. The durable, high-quality architecture of the Music School will complement the modern, attractive design of these earlier projects.
- Come back to this page for updates on the project’s progress.