The College has offered music courses in the former County Council owned centre for nearly 40 years, but after fully purchasing the building in 2016, there have been significant improvements for the benefit of learners and the wider community.
The dedicated Music and Performing Arts building, named after Ambrose William ‘Sam’ Newsom, County Education Officer for Holland County Council, has undergone a complete modernisation with new lighting, flooring and decor to provide a vastly improved aesthetic. As soon as you walk in the new foyer, it now has a contemporary reception area, which adds to the welcome feel of the building. The building post refurb now has three distinct floors catering for specific creative disciplines. The original ground floor has been developed from a conventional computer room and small offices into a large multipurpose music production room, a large recording studio and DJ performance studios. These facilities allow high-level independent music production and professional recordings to take place, advancing musical products and technological understanding.
The first floor has seen a complete refurbishment of the auditorium into a dedicated theatre. The existing multi-level flooring has been replaced by a single level to accommodate state of the art electronic pull out seating, allowing for an audience size of 100 to be situated in close proximity to the stage. This provides an intimate theatre facility where the audience really feel part of the performance. The second floor has had small production rooms amalgamated into larger music rehearsal facilities. These spacious rooms are filled with the latest performance equipment. There is also a larger theory and performance space to replicate the feel of a small venue. This is used for conventional lectures and peer performances to emulate live audience and critique.
Before becoming a Music Centre in the 1970s, the Sam Newsom Centre started out as a granary and dates back to the 1700s. The building was occupied by a maltster in 1889, and was then owned by the Lincoln family and used as a seed warehouse for most of the 20th century, before becoming the music centre it is today.
Speaking of the refurb, Neil Percy, PAM for Music and Music Tech and Performing Arts said, “The transformation of our well-regarded campus is tremendous. The Centre as a whole is lighter, warmer, and conducive to studying performing arts and music. Along with the production suite, recording studio, theatre, and abundant music rehearsal rooms, these facilities make the Sam Newsom Centre an ideal place to not only inspire creativity but to work in a professional environment. The staff and students love it and I can't wait to see what the curriculum produces in the future form these resources.”
Guests at the event included College Governors, members of the community and Boston Borough Council, who were invited to celebrate the grand opening with Boston College staff and learners. The building was declared open by Peter Cropley, Chairman of the College Governors, and then a guided tour of the amazing new facilities was provided by Neil Percy, Programme Area Manager for Music and Performing Arts.
Plans are currently in place for the Centre to be made available as a rentable multi-purpose venue, including a theatre space for live acts and performances. For more information on the Sam Newsom Centre please call 01205 365701 ext 2350. Alternatively, please visit www.boston.ac.uk for further information on Boston College’s Music and Music Tech, and Performing Arts courses.