Eight years ago, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s artistic director, Bramwell Tovey, had a vision: to open a community music school adjacent to the Orpheum Theatre, where orchestra members could teach aspiring musicians of all ages and backgrounds.
Today, Tovey saw that dream fulfilled, with the unveiling of the $30-million VSO School of Music at 843 Seymour Street, a 25,000-square-foot purpose-built music school featuring 18 acoustically designed teaching studios, two classrooms, six practice rooms, a two-storey height ensemble room, and a state-of-the-art recital hall.
“We believe that this building, in this particular place, is a seed that has been planted in the middle of our great city, where we can take all the wonderful things that the city represents…and we can take our love of music and the joy of music and bring it to the lives of children across the city,” said Tovey at a news conference today held in the school’s recital hall. “The great thing about playing a musical instrument for a kid is if you’re holding a musical instrument, you can’t hold a cigarette. You can’t hold a knife, you can’t hold a joint, you can’t hold a crack pipe, you can’t hold a needle, and you can’t hold a gun. Music has that kind of power. And it’s that kind of power that we’re seeking to harness within this building.”
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