Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nelson School of Music

Frances McElhinney – Manager of the Nelson School of Music delighted us with a snap shot of the life and times of the school. At times we groan and moan about the cost of things and difficulty of raising funds for community projects.
The early settlers might have been a long way from the social magnets of the world but that did not stop them having big plans. From day one they got stuck in and formed the Harmonic Society and by 1868 they were able to build their very own Harmonic Hall. This prospered and with drive and excellence that Michael Balling first Principle of the School brought to the job, they managed to build the current building in 1901 at a cost of 3350 pounds. When you consider that represented ten bob for every man woman and child in the city at the time we have lots to admire the early benefactors. They did not rest on their laurels though and in 1911 “Thomas Cawthron purchased the wonderful pipe organ. He apparently did his market research without the aid of Google but still purchased the best that money could buy at the time.

Today the school is still held in high esteem with a 1000 people per week accessing its services. The age of philanthropy is not dead with the $1,000,000 bequest from the HC Cock trust and the Steinway piano by the Sturgeons. May the sound of music be heard in our mountains for another century.

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