ANU School of Music Jazzes Up

ANU School of Music

The ANU School of Music has announced plans to undergo a $1 million building refurbishment.

The renovations will repurpose the building’s old library into a larger reception and functions area, install a new box office and cloak room, improve access into Llewellyn Hall and create a new exhibition space to showcase the School’s “extraordinary instrument collection”, says the Head of the ANU School of Music, Professor Peter Tregear.

Professor Tregear hopes that these transformations will secure the School of Music’s position as a cultural hub.

“It has been a central ambition of mine to help improve [the School’s] amenity to the general public.”

Professor Tregear said that enhancing the student experience was the “primary driver” behind the refurbishment; indeed, the concept and name for the space, “the Athenaeum”, was proposed by a recent School of Music graduate student, Calum Builder. ‘Athenaeum’ is an old Greek word for library and also a place dedicated to the arts, which Builder hopes will capture the atmosphere of the new space.

“It only made sense that, as artists, there should be a space dedicated to exploring the creative arts in all its forms.”

Builder stressed that the Athenaeum was meant for more than just music.
“Ultimately, it would be a creative space where musicians can play, the painters can paint, the dancers can dance and the poets can read poetry…it will open up the Llewellyn Hall to a greater audience base.”

“The community will benefit from the vast amount of music, artistic and creative performances taking place in the space, hopefully bringing new people in and introducing them to something new.”

Professor Tregear agreed that the new design of Llewellyn Hall’s main entrance would bode well with students, staff or members of the public who use the facilities.

“This is a good use for some of [the University’s facilities and services budget], and also represents a significant and positive statement of confidence in the work of the School.”

The announcement for refurbishments comes amidst the re-opening of the well-known Canberra brewery, The Wig & Pen, at its new location outside Llewellyn Hall. With these changes Professor Tregear says that the School of Music “will be an especially attractive place to visit, whether one is attending a concert, buying a ticket, or studying.”

Llewellyn Hall hosted over 190 events in 2014, attracting almost 100,000 visitors. It is hoped that these refurbishments will be completed before the School’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2015.

Although the School of Music is nearly 40 years old, it has not received any substantial renovations save for those in 2008 when the 1400-seat Llewellyn Hall was damaged by hailstorms.