Date 01 Mar 2021
Five talented young musicians were recently invited to test the new facilities at the newly-refurbished Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
The £13m project has been handed over by Galliford Try, but due to the pandemic it may be some time before regular events are held there. The music charity that runs the venue, Performance Birmingham Ltd, organised a Covid-19 compliant rehearsal by an all-female jazz ensemble to showcase the new building.
The musicians rehearsing are part of a brand-new, free to access, all-female jazz ensemble created by the charity to improve the gender divide in the jazz sector. They are, Sarah Lopez (vocals), Jasmine Belle (alto saxophone), Scarlett Churchill (drums), Eliza Dunhill (trumpet) and Amy Coates (bass).
Originally built in 1991, the Symphony Hall will be the new home of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and will host the best in jazz, world music, folk, rock, pop and stand-up comedy.
The new building, which was procured through the Pagabo framework, has seen more than 8,000 sqft of new space created with more than 6,000 sqft of unused space brought into productive use, including a newly relocated box office. The transformed foyers will provide a much-improved bar, catering and hospitality space to help increase the financial resilience of the Symphony Hall and to provide additional education spaces.
Nick Reed, Chief Executive for the music charity responsible for Town Hall and Symphony Hall said: “I am thrilled to share this first glimpse inside Symphony Hall following the completion of the 'Making an Entrance' project. Over the past 18 months we have transformed the public spaces of our iconic concert hall to create new spaces for performance and learning, giving new opportunities for local musicians, and supporting our local community in musical discoveries.”
Simon Courtney, Managing Director for Galliford Try Building West Midlands, commented: “I can only congratulate all the stakeholders involved and our team for their part in delivering this fantastic renovation project despite the challenging circumstances of the pandemic.”