Picture gallery: Reporter gets behind-the-scenes tour of multi-million pound Saffron Hall ahead of inuagural event

The Reporter was given a behind-the-scenes sneak preview of the hall.

The Reporter was given a behind-the-scenes sneak preview of the hall. - Credit: Archant

TWO years, £10 million pounds and over 2,300 excited students and staff. From its piano key-mimicking acoustics to drum shaped entrance, the vision for Saffron Hall is to produce the next generation of internationally-famed musical maestros.

The first step of that journey is the creation of a new music academy – of which more details will follow later this autumn – but in the meantime County High deputy head Helen Dale has been busy plotting a mini-celebration.

Students in Years 7-10 will be recognised for their achievements at an Awards Evening next Tuesday (September 10) when the multi-million pound state-of-the-art auditorium will play host to its inaugural engagement.

Mrs Dale said she had been “absolutely inundated” with e-mails from the parents of those nominated for the awards – all eager to get a sneak preview of Saffron Hall.

“We wanted parents to be able to see the auditorium in full working order,” Mrs Dale said. “They are part of this school and we want them to become part of Saffron Hall, too. The auditorium is for the whole community to enjoy, not just the school.

“Excitement is really growing and we cannot wait to begin the year with a bang. It’s a bit nerve-wracking with it being the first event in the auditorium but fingers crossed it goes well.”

The Awards Evening event, previously known as the Celebration Evening, began seven years ago.

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Its aim is to honour the achievements of students in Years 7-10 – including those who have excelled or made improvements in particular subjects, as well as those who have overcome adversity.

The evening will be split into two. Years 7-8 will have their celebration from 5.45pm and Years 9-10 from 7.30pm.

Olympic medallist Ben Maher, who won gold at London 2012 in the team showjumping event, will be speaking as special guest.

When the auditorium is not in use a number of the surrounding rooms can be converted into classrooms, including the large changing room for drama companies, orchestras and other performers.

The building has created five additional classrooms and both an expanded social area and private study space for sixth formers.

A conductor/soloists room, press area and control room complete the design.

Headteacher John Hartley told the Reporter: “There is a great sense of anticipation and excitement about the school moving into Saffron Hall. “Students and staff are looking forward tremendously to using its fantastic facilities from the start of term onwards.

“The music academy is a huge deal and there will be more about that in the autumn.”