The Duchess of Gloucester unveiled a new music school at Kings College School, Wimbledon this week.
The new state of the art facility includes a concert hall that can seat 200 people and house an orchestra of sixty on the stage. The Duchess was met by Deputy Lieutenant, Ms Clare Whelan OBE and Councillor Mary Curtin, Mayor of Merton, along with the school’s two headmasters: Mr Halls and Dr Silverlock, King’s Bursar, Mrs Anna Maria Clarke and former Chair of Governors, Mrs Penny Hughes CBE.
After meeting pupils from the different age groups at the school and having a guided tour of the music school by the Head of Music, Mr Daniel Phillips, the Duchess and those present were entertained by the school chamber choir. The orchestra performed two contrasting pieces; Handel’s Coronation Anthem “Zadok the Priest” and George Gershwin’s “I got rhythm”. In her speech on officially opening the hall, the Duchess complimented them on their wonderful performances.
The Duchess of Gloucester has a keen interest in music, and upon the death of Princess Diana, she took on the Patronship of the Royal Academy of Music and has many other music-based charities within her remit. Some are connected with Church and Cathedral music, whilst others look at the use of music as therapy. This is both from the relaxation music can give you, and also memory stimulation through tunes.
Kings College School was founded by Royal Charter around one hundred and ninety years ago, initially as an all-boys school for those between seven and eighteen. More recently girls have been allowed into the sixth form at the school. Last educational year, the school was awarded the ranking of being Sunday Times London Independent School of the Year.
Interestingly, former pupils of the school include the self-taught multi-instrumentalist Tom Vek, founder of the Desert Island where you can take six records of your choice, Roy Plomley and English singer-songwriter Patrick Woolf. With their new facility, who will be next?