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Welcome from the Head of Department

M. Stokes

Welcome, if you are new, and welcome back, if you are not, to the Music Department!

 I hope you have found sunshine over the summer, and are excited about the prospect of the new academic year, as I am. 

 For those of you who are new, all of us in the Music Department are looking forward to meeting you. You will find a warm welcome here, along with an incomparably rich environment for composition, music making, thinking and talking about music. Your next steps in musical life will be accompanied by top researchers, composers and musicians, in the heart of a city that is an education in itself. 

 King's Music has been on the cutting edge of things for over fifty years now. If you are unfamiliar with the story, Ed Breen's biography of the first professor here, Thurston Dart, is something you should read. It's available online at

 You join us at a moment of renovation - not just in new recruitment to our student and staff body, at all levels, but in the fabric of our beautiful listed building on the banks of the Thames. This process of renovation will have added the following: 

1)      Four new practice rooms in the King's Building

2)      Three new practice rooms in SEB

3)      Two large new ensemble rehearsal spaces in SWB (SWB23 and SWB27) 

4)      Four new pianos 

5)      Two fully equipped recording studios/editing suites

6)      Top of the range speakers for our 4 main teaching rooms

7)      Sound proofing enhancement to levels compatible with listed building status

8)      A much needed facelift of staff office spaces, common rooms etc. 

 We have had an incredibly narrow envelope in which to achieve all of this over the summer months, and have very nearly succeeded. There may, as a consequence, be a few teething problems in Welcome Week and in the first week of teaching. We are as prepared as we possibly can be for all eventualities. Scaffolding will remain on the building, I am told, until much later this academic year, but the work inside should be finished over the next few weeks. I hope you will bear with us during this brief period.  

The department beginning of year party will be in Chapters (the cafe in the Strand Building adjacent to the Chapel) at 17.30-19.30 on Monday 18 September. 

 I look forward to meeting everybody there.


Martin Stokes

King Edward Professor of Music and Head of Department

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