Five music schools are destined to merge on the Sitterie site within three years. This teaching and creation center will bring together some 1,500 students and teachers.
The Haute Ecole de Musique Valais-Wallis, the Cantonal Conservatory, the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, the Municipal Harmony of Sion and the Sion Violon Musique Foundation will soon be brought together on a single site in the Valais capital. This musical campus should be operational for the start of the 2023 school year.
“This project makes it possible to share part of the teaching resources. And above all, it will create a real place of study, exchanges, concerts for some 1,500 students and teachers from the various schools of music in Sure, ”Philippe Varone, president of Sion, explained to the press on Wednesday. It will be installed at La Sitterie, a site comprising six buildings, currently occupied by the HES-SO Valais-Wallis, which is due to move to the Energypolis campus.
The General Council of the City approved unanimously on Tuesday evening a commitment credit of 11.7 million francs for their transformation. The sum will allow the repair of the premises, the thermal compliance as well as seismic and acoustic and phonic adaptations, details Carole Schmid, city councilor in charge of buildings and constructions.
Convinced by the project, the canton makes the entire Sitterie site available to the City free of charge for a period of 50 years. It participates in the investment as well as in operating costs and charges up to 35% of the amounts committed. “The project allows Sion and the entire region of central Valais to shine,” notes Christophe Darbellay, president of the Valais Council of State.
Five institutions …
The reflections on the creation of a musical pole go back to 2014, but for three and a half years, this “old dream” has become clearer. Five institutions take part. And in view of their different profiles, their musicians will bring the site to life every day of the year, the protagonists again note.
An international reference in the teaching of strings, the Haute Ecole de Musique Valais-Wallis (HEMU) offers bachelors and masters to students who intend to pursue a career as professional musicians. The Cantonal Conservatory trains amateur musicians, actors, dancers and singers and also gives private lessons to young people from the region.
The School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (EJMA) trains amateur and professional musicians as well as teachers in these subjects. Also on the program: courses with internationally renowned musicians, concerts, festivals, competitions, conferences and various events. The Municipal Harmony performs in concerts and takes part in many events for which its presence is requested, in Sion, in Valais, in Switzerland or abroad. Finally, the Sion Violon Musique Foundation promotes classical music and the violin in particular through various events.
… for innovative projects
For the director of the HEMU, Aurélien d’Andrès, the “synergy potential of this grouping is extremely rich”. He sees in particular exchanges between students and professionals, the openness to several styles of music or the means of encouraging young talents from Valais to complete part of their studies in the canton.
A total collaboration symbolized by the piece called “Black box”. Formerly a gym, the area of around 330 m2 will be a multifunctional place, a place of performances and rehearsals for “interdisciplinary projects that are emerging from the shackles”, underlines Aurélien d’Andrès. For example, we could find a co-production of musicians from the EJMA and dancers from the Conservatory, he illustrates.
The newly created Pôle musique association, which brings together all the occupants of the site as well as a representative of the City, is in particular responsible for finding private funds for the financing of specific technical equipment. These are not supported by the authorities. “The first mission of this body will be to design this” Black box “”, underlines the director of the Cantonal Conservatory Thierry Debons.