Guildhall School of Music and Drama

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in Music, Opera, Drama, Stage Management and Technical Theatre.



The first Guildhall School was housed in an old warehouse in Aldermanbury, but these premises soon proved too small. A new purpose-built building in John Carpenter Street was designed by City Architect Sir Horace Jones and opened in December 1886. It is owned by the City of London Corporation and takes its name from the Corporation's historic headquarters at the Guildhall, though it was never based there. Before 1935 it was known as the Guildhall School of Music. Since 1977 it has been situated next to the Barbican Arts Centre in the Barbican Complex.

In 2004, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama's external examinations department merged with the performing arts examinations division of Trinity College London to form Trinity Guildhall Examinations. Today, Trinity Guildhall offers qualifications in performing and teaching in areas such as music, speech and drama, and dance to external students.

Present day

The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs[3] as well as the Junior Guildhall, a Saturday school serving students from 4 to 18 years of age.[4] The school's outreach activities won the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2005. The school was awarded a consecutive Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2007 in recognition of the outstanding achievements and work of the Opera Programme.[5]

The school's performance facilities include a 308-seat drama and opera theatre, concert hall, lecture/recital hall and a small studio theatre. In addition, students of the school regularly perform in other London venues, including the Barbican Centre, the Bridewell Theatre (off Fleet Street), the Soho Theatre, the Swan (Stratford) and the Royal Court.


In 2008 work began to redevelop the Milton Court complex, which is near to the School's main building and part of which has been used by the School for several years. The new 48-floor building, funded by the City of London and developed by Heron International, will house a 650-seat concert hall, a 220-seat theatre and a 90-seat studio theatre, as well as studios for television, radio, teaching, rehearsal, office and support services. The extension to the School is estimated to cost around £90million.

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