Clarence Valley Conservatorium  director, Greg Butcher.
Clarence Valley Conservatorium director, Greg Butcher.

Fine arts centre to close doors

THE Maclean campus of the Clarence Valley Conservatorium is to close.

Conservatorium director Greg Butcher said that because of falling numbers at the campus, it would close before the end of the year.

He said numbers had been at low levels since it opened last year.

"The conservatorium management committee has unanimously decided to close its doors," Mr Butcher said.

"Music and drama lessons currently being attended by students at the Maclean campus will cease from the building at 48 River Street on Friday December 16, 2005.

"Conservatorium tuition programs operating in the Lower River schools will carry on as normal."

Mr Butcher said the Maclean campus of the conservatorium opened in late March 2004, with the enthusiasm of all staff and the then Maclean Shire Mayor, Chris Gulaptis.

"Since then, the conservatorium has tried to expand operations into the Lower River community, offering professional tuition in all music and drama fields from the campus," he said.

"Attendance at conservatorium and combined concerts with other organisations in Maclean never reached the targeted audience and numbers hoped for to gain a following.

"Despite Clarence Valley Council's one-off grant promised in July this year for rental assistance, it was decided not to accept the grant as it was still not be possible to continue past 2005 with ongoing running costs.

"On behalf of the management committee, staff and myself as director, I would like to thank all parents and students who have supported the campus sinceit opened.

"I would also like to thank council for its consideration with the grant.

"It is anticipated that music and drama students currently attending lessons will be catered for at Grafton campus or at the private studios of their present teachers in the Lower River at the beginning of 2006.

"We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may bring."

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