Schools feel Performing Arts Centre is good investment
A brand new Performing arts centre has just been completed at Sevenoaks School and was opened at an inaugural concert on Tuesday 27th April by Professor Barry Ife, CBE, Principal of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Former school pupil Emma Johnson, MBE and student performers provided an evening of superb entertainment to an audience of some 400. Known as the Pamoja Hall this beautiful building seating 400 together with a new Steinway `D` , concert grand, a recital room, a drama studio to seat 100, a drum room and recording studio, a music room, a band room, seventeen individual sound-proofed teaching rooms and a foyer, make up the school’s new performing arts centre.
Described by School Head Mrs. Katy Ricks as `an inspirational environment for our students` she also said she hoped it would contribute to the cultural life of Sevenoaks and is already used for Brian Rix, Evelyn Glennie and Buddy Greco events in this summer’s Sevenoaks Festival.
The new building took 87 weeks to complete at a cost of £13 million. Fundraising for the building started in 2006 and resulted in a significant proportion of the money coming from 23 countries with fundraising for another £1m to continue for some months.
This new facility is linked with existing Sackville Theatre, whch has been refurbished and includes a tension wire grid to allow students to learn the full range of technical aspects of production.
The stage of the Pamoja Hall can accomodate the school’s seventy-piece orchestra behind which the school choir can be positioned. The orientation of the hall uses the natural slope of the site to create the rake for the audience seating.
The foyer area links the three levels of the building and provides access to the practice and teaching rooms, the Moskovenko Drums Room and the Recording Studio, other offices and support facilities. The Ordovsky-Tanaevsky Drama Studio is located close to the entrance to the renovated Sackville Theatre. The beauty of this design is that if a concert is taking place in the Pamoja Hall with an audience of 400 and a drama production in the Sackville Theatre with an audience of about 200 they can all come together in the interval for refreshments in the foyer area.
The centre contains 2,733 square metres of useable space. The maximum height of the building is 20.5 metres.
If you wish to know more about the building and how you can help fund raising, or if you are interested in a naming opportunity on a part of the building in return for a significant donation, please contact John Walton, Development Director at Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1HU