A PREFERRED Bidder for the redevelopment of the former Royal High School in Edinburgh has been announced as the National Consortium of Schools of Music.
The Royal High School Preservation Trust hailed the decision of the Edinburgh City Council Finance and Resources Committee today to approve the restoration of the iconic Thomas Hamilton Building on Calton Hill as a world class center for music education and public performance for the benefit of all of Scotland.
The updated RSHPT proposal, submitted to the board last month, brings together a network of partner organizations, alongside St Mary’s Music School, including the Benedetti Foundation and IMPACT (International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust) Scotland with a shared vision of creating a Center for Music as a new platform for musical collaborations, both in the building, online and in the community at large.
The offering is supported by an expanded donation from philanthropist Carol Colburn Grigor and the Dunard Fund totaling £ 55million to cover investment costs and support future maintenance of the Thomas Hamilton building.
William Gray Muir, Chairman of the Royal High School Preservation Trust, said: “We are delighted that our shared vision of a new world-class center for music education and public performance can finally move forward.
“The project has brought together an unprecedented array of partners, all of whom recognize that collaboration is key to realizing Scotland’s potential as a global leader in music education and creating a whole new way for the nation to s ‘engage and appreciate classical music.
“We would also like to recognize the efforts of all who have spoken out for the conservation and protection of the former Royal High School and all who have expressed support for our goals. We remain extremely grateful to the Dunard Fund Trustees for their unwavering foresight and generosity to the Royal High School Preservation Trust. ”
Dr Kenneth Taylor, Principal of St Mary’s Music School, said: “It’s a really exciting day for St Mary’s Music School. Not only does this bring us one step closer to a new home for school; it also places us at the center of a project that will deliver and enhance world-class music education for people from all walks of life across Scotland in a setting that will be second to none.
“We would like to congratulate everyone who made this possible, including the advisers who recognized the value the proposal will bring to Edinburgh and to Scotland as a whole. We are also extremely grateful for the continued support of our stakeholders in the arts and education world, as well as the people of Edinburgh who have warmly supported us over the past five years.
“Our special thanks go to Dunard Fund, whose unwavering generosity has enabled us to be at the heart of the shared vision of creating a new platform for musical collaborations, both within the building, online and in the community. at large. ”
Nicola Benedetti, Founder and Artistic Director of the Benedetti Foundation, said: “Music, when created, played and listened to with integrity, allows us to let go of everything that separates us and prompts us to see and feel. what unites us. Music offers us an unprecedented opportunity to enrich Scotland’s cultural life and serve as a beacon of true 21st century music education for the whole world.
“Thanks to the generosity and vision of Carol Colburn Grigor and the Dunard Fund, we have the means, along with the collective will and dedication from all walks of life in Scotland, to realize a revolutionary vision. We are entering a rare and magnificent moment in Scottish history, where a phenomenal combination of individuals and organizations work tirelessly to achieve the greatest possible inclusion and musical excellence, all equally committed to enriching our our national history and heritage. In addition, we have a new government commitment to make instrument lessons free for young Scots. We do not work upstream and, when it comes to arts and culture, this should not be taken for granted. We must embrace this moment.
“The National Music Center will be a warm and welcoming place for all ages, abilities and backgrounds, where people can come together and rise up through the participation and appreciation of music. It will house a comprehensive celebration of musical traditions and interests from around the world and will welcome a wide range of teachers, ideologies, pedagogies, students, pupils and audiences. I have never been so optimistic about the potential for Scotland’s musical and cultural future.
Joanna Baker, Executive Director of IMPACT Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the National Music Center project has gained the approval of the Councilors, which is great news not only for the people of Edinburgh but for all. those who love music and values its potential to shape the lives of young people for the better. We are extremely excited about the potential for collaborations with Center Dunard and its partners that will provide new opportunities for young people from all communities and all musical genres.
Colin Liddell, Director of Dunard Fund, was also pleased with the result: “Feeling compelled to keep Thomas Hamilton’s masterpiece, one of the finest neo-classical buildings in the world, Dunard Fund is delighted with the decision taken today by edinburgh city council. The Dunard Fund has also been determined to find a sustainable use for the former Royal High School buildings and is delighted to support the creation of a new National Music Center, which its trustees see as a true source of inspiration. The Dunard Fund is delighted to see this shared vision materialize in the years to come.
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