Emeli Sande has helped get an ambitious new gifting scheme for the Music Hall off on the right note – by donating a piano to help the next generation of North-east musicians.
The superstar made her contribution to launch Project Stepping In, which allows members of the public to sponsor items, from tins of paint to a stunning glass feature entrance wall, to help with the Music Hall’s £8.7 million transformation.
The piano gifted by Emeli will be used in the new creative learning studio, which will be a hub for hundreds of young people taking part in Aberdeen Performing Arts’ (APA) education programmes in the coming years.
Emeli said: “It’s so important for young people to have a creative space where they can express themselves and grow their passions. The creative learning studio at the Music Hall will provide just that and I’m pleased to be able support the project with this contribution.”
Project Stepping In will allow others to join Emeli in helping the Music Hall into the next chapter of its long history before its planned reopening later this year.
The campaign invites people to go online to explore the new blueprint for the building for the first time, then digitally select items to contribute towards its facelift.
APA public giving campaign manager Charlotte Farmer said: “Project Stepping In gives an exciting glimpse into what the newly-transformed Music Hall will look like, with the full floor plans available to view online.
“It brings us full circle as we invite you back into the building to furnish it, ready for its re-awakening.
“We’ve built this interactive website to allow users to take a virtual walk around the new floor plans and choose an item to donate to – everything from a piece of the auditorium flooring to the green room sofa.”
Fixtures and furnishings on offer in the interactive floor plan include items like an interactive digital touch screen, music stands, and even a professional paint job for the famous Willis Organ and pipes.
The cost of items people can pay towards range from a light switch for £10 to a state-of-the-art lift for £25,000.
People can help stock the new bar with optics for £40 each, pay £100 for a digital projector for meeting and hospitality areas, buy percussion instruments for APA creative learning classes for £300, and for £500 people can sponsor one square metre of the brand new granite-clad entrance ramp, giving smooth access to the Music Hall from street to seat.
Jane Spiers, APA chief executive, said: “Emeli Sande became the face of the Music Hall campaign in 2016 when she signed up as an ambassador. We’re absolutely thrilled to have her support for our ambitious project which will secure a future for the Music Hall for the next generation of talented musicians.”
Jane said the Music Hall project is about much more than bricks and mortar.
“It’s been at the heart of cultural, civic and community life for two centuries and it has many stories to tell,” she added.
And with Project Stepping In, people can finally get a first glimpse of the changes being made.
“We have a completely new basement level to relocate public toilets and recapture space on the ground floor for a new bright, open, inviting cafe bar and a new performance studio,” said Jane.
“On the re-imagined first floor for the first time there will be an inspirational new studio space for education and creative learning activities. We openly invited people to explore the Music Hall and become part of its rich history by contributing towards an item of their choosing.”
The first 10 donors through the virtual “door” who make a minimum contribution of £100 to the site will be entered for a prize draw on May 1 to win two tickets to a show at His Majesty’s, with a choice of The Kite Runner, Flashdance – The Musical, and Son Of A Preacher Man on offer.
The Project Stepping In website can be viewed at projectsteppingin.com