Rock school silenced as director pulls plug

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 12/06/2014

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The School of Rock has been silenced.

The week-long intensive music programme, scheduled for Geraldine next month, has been cancelled and the grant received from the Creative Communities NZ Scheme returned.

School of Rock director Fiona McKenzie said circumstances beyond her control meant the holiday programme would no longer be held. "We're all very disappointed. We're certainly looking at revisiting it at some stage in the future and are optimistic we can provide something in the future."

The programme is run through The Academy of Performance and Arts in Geraldine and teaches young musicians song-writing, musical technique, studio recording and live performance skills.

Industry professionals Chris Matthews, from the band Headless Chickens, and Brett Lupton, from Squirm, were to have been the tutors for the week.

In an email on the local arts scheme assessment committee meeting agenda, McKenzie wrote that the programme had good enrolments and high enthusiasm, but situations with the academy's management committee made it "impossible" for an event director, not on the management committee, to run a budget for an event.

Academy chairman Jean Tutton said the committee was "shocked and disappointed" about the cancellation. "This decision was made without any discussion or input from the committee."

There was still a shortfall in funding and the committee was waiting to hear if it had been successful with another grant.

"The academy committee wishes to apologise to the young people of the district who will miss out on the School of Rock, which was looking like being a great week, and to others who missed out on youth funding, as these funds can't be reallocated this time."

The academy is a registered charity and received a grant of $2000, which has since been returned. Student fees for the week were $200.

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- The Timaru Herald

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