Development News Archive

American Friends Join the Stowe-Harvard Celebrations

(May 2015)

Thursday 21stMay was a proud evening for Stowe as we celebrated the 23rdannual Stowe-Harvard Dinner. Gathering together members of the Stowe community from both sides of the Atlantic to celebrate the School’s links with the United States, the Stowe-Harvard Dinner was co-hosted by the American Friends of Stowe and continues to be an important event in the School’s calendar.

At the heart of the evening was a recognition and celebration of this year’s Stowe-Harvard Fellow, Mr Michael Chilazi, who spoke with charm and humour about his experiences this year. Founded in 1991, the Stowe-Harvard Fellowship selects one senior graduating from Harvard College, in a competitive process, to spend a year as a member of staff at Stowe. The Fellow selects a main teaching area in accordance with his or her academic interests and takes on a wide variety of extracurricular and pastoral roles, including affiliation with one of Stowe’s residential houses.  Over the past 24 years, each Stowe-Harvard Fellow has brought much to the School and the Fellowship is a proud demonstration of the ever-strengthening bond between Stowe and the United States.

A charming and convivial evening was enjoyed by all in the stunning surroundings of the Music Room. Mr Brian Hecht, Chairman of the American Friends of Stowe, spoke of the deep connection between Stowe and the US, which is embodied in the American Friends of Stowe. This is a connection the School values greatly and will continue to nurture.

 

Stowe Launches Appeal for Science

February 2015

An exciting community-wide appeal has been launched in aid of the future of Science at Stowe. Plans are underway to re-new and renovate the Science Faculty building, which has one of the highest footfall rates of any building in Stowe.

The existing building was constructed in the 1970s at a time when the school was 30% smaller and it simply does not offer either the space or infrastructure necessary for teaching the Sciences in the digital age.

Members from across Stowe's community will receive information detailing the vision for the future of the Science Faculty and how they can become involved in this landmark project.

The New Music School

August 2014

From the start of construction in July 2012 to completion in December 2013, the new Music School at Stowe has been the most ambitious development project at Stowe - indeed it is arguably the most important new building at the School since the opening of the Chapel in the 1920s.

Anthony Wallersteiner, Headmaster, explains the context for the project: "Music has always been an important part of life at Stowe since the great Dr Leslie Huggins, the School’s first Director of Music between 1929 and 1952. Now, with an outstanding orchestra, wind, brass and jazz bands, chamber ensembles and string quartets, choral society, chapel choir and numerous rock groups, Stoics are encouraged to explore the widest range of musical creativity.  Our ambition has been to create one of the very finest Music Schools in the country."

At the heart of our vision for the building lay the philosophy of 'Music for Everyone', brought to life through facilities and spaces that would allow musicians of all levels, interests and disciplines to enjoy, listen, learn and perform.

Stowe is greatly indebted to the many individual donor and grant-giving organisations who have contributed nearly £4 million to the 'Music for Everyone' Appeal.  Without their belief and support for our vision, the Music School would never have become reality.  Their generosity, in part, has allowed us to realise our ambition to become one of the very few 'All Steinway' schools in the UK.  All 24 pianos in the Music School are Steinway pianos: from the upright pianos in each practice and teaching room, to the 'Model D' concert grand piano in the Recital Hall.

We look forward to attracting the finest touring musicians, to welcoming the local community to Stowe for concerts - and to establishing Stowe as a national centre for musical excellence and opportunity.

Restoration of the Roxburgh Theatre

June 2014

The Roxburgh Theatre (or 'Roxy' as it is affectionately known) is an iconic building. It has been central to life at Stowe for over five decades and perhaps most famously was the venue for the concert by The Beatles in April 1963. The Roxy, though, remained largely untouched for 50 years and was in urgent need of repair and restoration.

Our ambition was not only to repair the leaking roofs and substandard services but also to remodel it and provide a truly superb theatrical facility for many years to come. In 2011 the roof was replaced and the ceiling repaired; in 2012 the auditorium and stage area were completely refurbished, producing facilities that match any good local theatre; in 2013, a complete re-rendering and fitting of new doors and windows transformed the exterior.  Work in 2014 culminated in the refurbishment of the 'wings' of the theatre, creating new classrooms, studio and teaching facilities that will allow the Roxy to become the home for all Theatre and Drama at Stowe.

Stowe House - the next phase of the restoration

December 2013

We are delighted to report that considerable progress has been made in recent years to complete several phases of the major restoration of Stowe House. A two year project, completed in July 2010, involved the restoration of the roofs, elevations, façades, balustrades and garden on the Eastern Pavilion and State Library side of the House. As part of this phase, the Library and Ante Library, immediately to the east of the central pavilion, have undergone a magnificent restoration. A pitched roof (replaced some years ago with a flat felt roof) has been restored and below it work has been completed on the valuable and ornate plaster ceiling. This has been re-gilded to match its remarkable condition in the later 18th century. 

Sub-phase 2 from July 2010 to July 2011 saw the restoration of the Western Pavilion and State Dining Room exteriors.  This project has significantly enhanced the appearance of the South Front and has secured in particular the roofs of the House for the next 75 years and beyond.  Work on the elaborate interior of the Music Room was completed at the end of the summer in 2012.   In the summer of 2013, the magnificent Medici Lions were returned to the South Front, complementing work to the stone balustrade and the installation of replicas of the 30 spun copper urns. The Egyptian Hall has also been restored, complete with wall paintings, sphinxes and sarcophagus.  The restoration of the major State Rooms will continue with completion of the Blue Room in 2014.

The World Monuments Fund have been invaluable partners in our work and over the last 2-3 years we have been working on a £10 million matched funding challenge, made possible through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor.   Thereafter, we will need to raise a final £3 million to enable us to complete the restoration of the remaining State Rooms - and the mission to restore Stowe House and secure its future.

There are two critical elements of work remaining: the remaining State Room interiors and the new Visitor Interpretation Centre

For more information on the latest restoration work, please see the Restoration pages.