The Principal of the University of St Andrews Professor Sally Mapstone marked the topping out of the new Laidlaw Music Centre this week.
The £12.5 million music building will allow the University to provide first class facilities for talented students, many of whom engage in music at the highest level in parallel with their main academic studies.
It will create new opportunities for young people to connect with performing arts, enable the University to host national and international level recitalists, and provide access to the latest recording technology.
The building will include three rehearsal rooms, ten practice rooms, a recording suite, a library and one of the finest chamber recital halls in Scotland.
The Music Centre looks after several non-University groups, including two children’s choirs, a children’s orchestra and the St Andrews and Fife Community Orchestra. The University also works closely with the St Andrews Chorus, one of the largest non-auditioned choirs in Scotland, whose membership is equally divided between University and non-University singers.
Professor Mapstone said: “A centre like this is a catalyst of our vibrant, global community, in a world that needs diverse people to connect as never before.
“At the other end of the scale, the new Music Centre building will also draw us closer to the local community. For at least the last ten years, the existing Music Centre has made it a priority to work closely with the people of St Andrews and members of the local community are welcome to join all the Music Centre’s groups. This has proven to be of great mutual benefit.
“The new Music Centre is a magnificent building, but it is so very much more, a real heart in the centre of St Andrews. With its proximity to the thriving Byre Theatre, it will act as part of a creative hub in the town which will provide space for a programme of events that is exceptionally rich relative to the size of the town.”
The University has funded the new Music Centre with philanthropic support from donors including the McPherson Trust, Sir Ewan and Lady Brown, and Lord Laidlaw. At the groundbreaking ceremony in July 2018 it was announced that the building would be named the Laidlaw Music Centre in recognition of the £4 million donation that turned vision into development.
A topping out ceremony can be held when a building reaches its highest point, as the Music Centre has now. It is a tradition with pagan roots designed to appease any spirits displaced by the new build, and provides an opportunity to thank the community who made the building possible.
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.University news