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NZ School of Music welcomes first students

14 October 2005

NZ School of Music welcomes first students

The New Zealand School of Music, a joint venture between Victoria and Massey universities, is recruiting students and preparing to offer its first classes in 2006.

Professor David Mackay, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, and Professor Sally Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Creative Arts at Massey University, said the School will be fully operational next year, operating at both universities campuses while a home for the newly combined School was sought.

The new School brings together the strengths of Victoria’s School of Music and Massey University’s Wellington Conservatorium of Music and its music programme at Albany.

Professor Morgan said there was much work being done by both universities to merge the administration and back room processes of the two groups, which was inevitable given the magnitude and innovative nature of the project. The aim is to ensure students receive the same high quality education that Victoria and Massey have provided in the past and that the transition to the new School is as seamless as possible for new and existing students, she said.

She said part of that process was to formalise the status of the School’s students in relation to such things as eligibility to student loans.

“Despite recent media reports to the contrary, we have negotiated a means with the Ministry of Social Development that allows all students enrolling to study at the School next year to have full access to Studylink grants. Applications are progressing well and interest in the School is understandably high.”

Professor Mackay said the two universities had applied to the Government for funding to ensure the School had a purpose-built home that befitted its status as New Zealand’s premier music school.

“In partnership with the Wellington City Council, we are working behind the scenes to bring together the purpose-built home for the School on the former Jack Ilott Green/Circa Theatre site in Civic Square. Once a new government is formed, we are confident that our request for funding will have a positive outcome. Both universities and the Council remain committed to this end.”

Professor Morgan said the announcement of the School’s inaugural Director would be made by the end of the month.

Professor Mackay praised departing Interim Director, Euan Murdoch, a former Head of Victoria’s School of Music, for his commitment to the project. Mr Murdoch has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Chamber Music New Zealand. He takes up his new position in February next year.

“Since his appointment, firstly as Head of Victoria’s School of Music, and more recently as Interim Director, Euan has worked tirelessly to ensure that the new School is established on a sound and strong footing.

“Euan will be sorely missed, as a manager, active performer and dedicated teacher. Given his new position and his commitment to the School, I also expect that he will retain a strong association with the School.”

ENDS

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