Former pupil unveils £1.5m rehearsal and performance space at sixth-form college in Southampton

Daily Echo: Domi Escorce-Stanley, Lee Vincent, Caanan Cantrell, George Dunnett and Jack White using one of the facilities. Domi Escorce-Stanley, Lee Vincent, Caanan Cantrell, George Dunnett and Jack White using one of the facilities.

STUDENTS at a Hampshire sixth form college could be making the music of tomorrow after a former pupil unveiled a new £1.5m music centre.

Jazz musician Joe Stilgoe returned to his old school to open the facility at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in Southampton.

To celebrate the founding of the school, children from other schools across the city visited it to get a taste of the creative talents the teenagers can nurture at the new centre.

Now available for the 1,300 attending students, it features a new recording studio, two music technology suites, ensemble rehearsal rooms, and three sound-isolating booths.

Joe, who has performed at legendary jazz bar Ronnie Scott’s in London, said it was “a great honour” to open the new building.

He said: “This is a very important place to me. I tell everyone about it when I’m talking to people about my career. It’s a huge honour to open this extended music and performing arts centre.”

Principal Alice Wrighton said she was thrilled to be able to open the new facility.

She said: “Our music and performing arts talents range right across the creative arts, from dance and drama to music, and after going through the demands of a big-scale project like this, where we were building upon existing facilities, I'm thrilled to ask Joe Stilgoe to officially unveil our new £1.5million music centre.

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“I hope that music and performing arts students enjoy having their own dedicated space to rehearse and perform in for years to come.”

Founded in 1760 after the former mayor of Southampton Richard Taunton died, the school has seen other famous Sotonians such as Chris Packham and Theo Walcott study there.

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