As a member of the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, and a teacher for ArtForms, the last few months have been extremely difficult. As far as the orchestra is concerned, we have temporary, but inappropriate rehearsal space at a local church. There is a problem with storage of our equipment. It is very cold, and has poor acoustics for rehearsing. Some councillors might like to think we are happily sorted but this is not the case. Our conductor, Martin Binks has spent days of his time looking at alternative venues - schools, church halls etc, and nothing has emerged. West Park Centre fulfilled all our requirements. I know this is the situation for many other community groups who used the premises. As far as ArtForms is concerned, my work in schools has continued okay, though the dislocation of the individual teachers from each other, and the admin staff makes life difficult and has had a demoralising effect on all of us, even though, as professionals, we are of course delivering business as usual. I'm sure you can understand that to have no base or centre makes us feel it is much harder to feel we belong as a group. i strongly hope that this is not your intention. On behalf of other ArtForms' departments, the logistics of instrument storage, loading, parking, running numerous groups off-site, trying to run development days for pupils, training days for staff, the music technology studio ,and the Gordon Parry Centre for pupils with special needs- all these things have been incredibly difficult and have affected teachers and pupils alike. i will leave this here, but urge you to consider again, the decision to close the centre. iIt is unique, and surely the cost of refurbishment would not be more than the other options you are considering. Yours faithfullly, Mary P ARCM, GRSM ,PGCE, Artforms teacher/ principal clarinet player- leeds Symphony Orchestra
Friday, 22 February 2013
Without West Park, Business as Usual, but at What and at Whose Cost?
Here's a letter from Mary to the Council: