A relocation of the Music Department has been suggested in the school review of the School of Creative Arts, which will be considered by a task force later this year.
According to the head of the department, Dr. Simon Trezise, it has always been an objective of College to move Music out of House 5, and the department has given the College plans for what would be needed to create a successful space for the Music Department. The Music Department is the only academic department in Front Square.
Trezise also stated that a rebuild around the Beckett Theatre has been suggested, given that Film, Drama, and Music have all been united under the School of Creative Arts, though he doubts that it would be implemented anytime soon.
Trezise stated: “The four reviewers for the school review announced immediately after the evaluation, even before they published the report, that they felt that the music facilities were not fit for purpose. They didn’t really give much detail about what it was that they were unhappy with, but they said that we should move into new accommodation near the Beckett Theatre. We wondered whether this had been prompted by anything in College, but apparently they had decided that we should move.”
According to a source within the department: “This idea of moving the Music Department surfaces from time to time: every eight to nine years or so—it’s a good idea, yet one that requires so much planning that it seems to lose momentum each time it is rebooted.”
The source added that a successful and well implemented move for the Music Department could be beneficial if it offered “a greater number of places for music students, a concert hall or venue for live performances, an increase in the number and types of qualifications that we offer, and opportunities for outreach and industry liaison”.
They added that the Trinity community “would benefit greatly from a more integrated Music Department”.
Dean of AHSS Gail McElroy commented on the school review recommendation: “All of the recommendations arising from the review of the School of Creative Arts will be considered by a task force in the coming year. This is standard practice following all reviews of college schools and units.”
Current concerns with the Music Department’s location include lack of practice space and poor soundproofing. At the moment, there are only two purpose built practice rooms for over 120 students in the department. Additionally, there is very poor soundproofing within the building, and no soundproofed studio.
Trezise explained: “When one group of students is trying to do a technology project, it means that another group of students who may want to practice the piano is not able to do so. Also, some of the offices are very close to practice areas and some of our staff are composers who ideally may want a quiet environment, so they’ll be complaining too.”
In recent years, construction on House 5 has included the creation of a fire corridor and the addition of a lift. Trezise pointed out that although necessary for safety purposes, the incorporation of a fire corridor added to the issue of noise-transmission.
Furthermore, he stated: “The lift was presented as being of joint benefit to the Music Department, but I think that the impetus for it came from commercialization…It was to do with access to Regent House.” The Music Department does not have regular enough access to the lift and the lift does not provide access to the entirety of the department.
Despite its inclusion in the school review, and the urgency of the reviewers consideration, there is currently no set timeline or budget to relocate the department.