Faculty of VCA and MCM to Undergo Name Change and Renovations

19 March 2018

The University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) have been renamed to become the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, leading to the relocation of MCM to Southbank.

There will be no change to course structure during the process, according to the dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, Professor Barry Conyngham.

Conyngham described the name change, which took place on 1 January 2018, as, “A logical evolution and response to changing situations over the past few years … [signalling] the bringing together of VCA and The Conservatorium at Southbank.”

The centralisation of the two schools into the heart of Melbourne’s arts precinct is set to approach a total of $200 million, aided by a $3 million grant from the Victorian Government.

This will include a $104.5 million conservatorium facility on 33 Sturt Street, to be called the Ian Potter Southbank Centre. The site was previously a car park leased from the Victorian Government.

The new conservatorium will house a 443-seat auditorium, a 200-seat ground floor studio and a range of rehearsal studios and rooms for performing, recording, teaching and research. According to Conyngham, the existing music facilities on St Kilda Road will also be improved.

It is currently expected that all MCM staff and students will move to the VCA precinct from the first semester of 2019.

The prestigious Melba Hall building on Parkville will be retained as a concert hall and used for research and breadth programs across the music faculty.

Despite acknowledging temporary inconveniences caused by construction, Victorian College of the Arts Students Association coordinator, Nicholas Lam, believes that the move will be beneficial for students in the long term.

“For most of the next academic year, most of the content in the Lenton Parr Library, specially catered for mostly VCA students, will be off-site due to construction,” he said.

“As I understand, students will need to requisition books in advance before it will be brought down from storage to supplement the smaller library that is being set up on the first floor.”

“As for the move itself, I find it will ultimately be a good thing,” Lam said.

“The MCM and the VCA have widely different cultures from what I’ve seen, being developed so far apart, but mixing the two faculties makes sense in a way as the disciplines are intertwined.”

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