Ogston Music School: a new verse in an expanding piece
St Edward’s School opened the doors of the new Ogston Music School for the first time at the start of term. This brand new £7m development will transform the musical life of the School, with a magnificent new recital and rehearsal space able to seat up to 120 people. This exciting new facility also features: 20 practice rooms; seven ensemble rooms; a recording studio and rock room; and the new Sixth Form Music Library. The dedicated music classrooms are equipped with the very latest audio and video equipment, and the music tech studio houses a vocal recording booth and rock room.
Director of Music, Alex Tester, describes what the new Music School brings to St Edward’s, ‘Music at St Edward’s has always been at a high level, but the new Ogston Music School will give us the chance to scale even greater heights. We now have a real opportunity to gain a national reputation for music, just as The North Wall has allowed us to do with drama, dance and art.’
Named in honour of the project’s principal contributor, Hamish Ogston, and designed by Tim Ronalds Architects, the new Music School has ambitious plans to establish itself in its own right at the heart of the local community, welcoming schools, touring musicians and community performances.
The Music School brings great advantages for the pupils, Ella Davis (Lower Sixth) explains, ‘The wonderful new purpose-built performance venue is going to be an incredible space to have concerts in. I am also excited to make use of the dedicated music library. I’m taking A-Level music, so I imagine I’ll be making a lot of use of it!’
The former departmental home, the Ferguson Music School, was ahead of its time when it opened in the 1960s, but with the musical ambitions of the School, this exciting new home for the Department will allow St Edward’s to continue developing and growing with confidence into the foreseeable future. The Warden shares his ambitions for the future, ‘With The North Wall Arts Centre just across the road from the new Ogston Music School, we have in South Parade the makings of North Oxford’s own cultural quarter. It has that potential.’