One of the most famous names in music gave a helping hand to another yesterday as Michael Eavis cut the turf for an expansion of Wells Cathedral School.
The man behind the Glastonbury Festival cut the turf for Cedars Hall, a new £9.4 million performing arts centre at the famous musical school – one of four specialist music schools in England.
The project, which will open with a gala festival in 2014, will include a 350-seat recital hall, recording studio and rehearsal rooms.
Mr Eavis, who was a pupil at the school from 1944-1950, said the hall was vital to the arts community of Wells, Somerset, the South West and beyond. Included among the state-of-the-art technology will be the ability to teach music via the internet.
The Somerset farmer, embracing the wintry sun in his trademark shorts – with a shirt and blazer finishing off the ensemble – said he auditioned to be a cathedral chorister while at the school but was turned down.
“I had a good voice. But they didn’t accept me. Even Stevie Wonder said I had a good voice,” he said.
“The school gave me, and [daughter] Emily later on, a lot of self-confidence and self-belief and that’s worth a lot.”
The school and foundation are also working for a new sports pavilion, which is important for the school’s overall purpose.
It will be close to Cedars Hall and designed by the same award-winning architect, Eric Parry.