Andover College recently welcomed the Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Iris Anderson, for a tour of the Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ Performing Arts and Music Departments. The Mayor was given the full Performing Arts experience seeing Dance students choreographing a new dance piece, attending an acting workshop focused around an upcoming performance of The Tempest and enjoying a solo musical performance by Lloyd Mitchell, a second year Music student.

Students told Councillor Anderson their plans for the future with most aspiring to go onto Higher Education and continue their study of performing arts at University or one of the leading schools in performing arts.

The visit was prompted by Councillor Anderson’s attendance at the annual Andover College Pantomime. The sold out performances of Beauty and the Beast showcased a wide range of talents and skills from students enrolled to Creative Industry courses. The Mayor saying: “It was a privilege to attend such a super evening and I wanted the opportunity to tell the students just how impressed I was with the standard of work they achieved.”

Curriculum Leader for Performing Production and Arts Gary Rake said: “It’s great to have a visit from such an esteemed dignitary. It highlights why the department achieved an “Outstanding” grade from an Ofsted inspection in 2014. Our students are encouraged to develop their skills and aspirations at the level right for them. We have worked hard to develop a greater awareness of the needs of students in the Further Education sector and are proud to offer a diverse number of successful courses both in A Level and BTEC.”

Councillor Anderson expressed her desire to work with the College to develop its links with the local community. She discussed several ideas which would increase access to the creative industries while utilising the College’s state of the art facilities.

Speaking about the visit the Head of Faculty for the area, Marie King said: “It means so much to the students to have their hard work recognised and it is clear that the Mayor has a keen interest in the youth of today and really wants to create a strong cultural hub around Test Valley.”