Budding and established musicians in the district are relishing practising and

recording at the state of the art QM Studios in Horsham’s Dukes Square

behind The Drill Hall. In 1999 sound engineer Graham Ansell was a co-

founder of the Horsham District Live Music Alliance (HDLMA) which operates

to promote live music in the district. Graham was keen for the Alliance to

provide a local rehearsal facility and when Horsham District Council (HDC)

offered a lease on the vacant building, he used his joinery skills to convert the

building, helped by a group of volunteers and Lottery funding.

The Drill Hall was built for the local Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment in

1927 and after the Territorial Army moved out, HDC became custodians and

landlords of the buildings. Today Mandy Ansell, the late Graham’s wife,

manages the busy studios with Adam Gellibrand, Adam telling us: “The

studios are in the former Quartermaster’s stores – hence our name!” Mandy

adding: “When we first set up here there was no running water or toilet but

from humble beginnings we’ve been able to up-grade the professional

facilities to meet the needs of modern musicians.”

The studios were opened by Kenny Jones, locally based former drummer with The Who. Three rehearsal rooms are in constant use by local bands, with backline – drum kits, amplifiers and PA systems – permanently installed. Mandy and Adam are justifiably proud of what they provide, in particular the Control Room, equiped with the latest digital recording facilities and a recently completed vocal booth providing greater flexibility for recording projects. Percussion workshops, outreach courses and community therapy sessions – led by Adam and assisted by Kay Whiteley – are among other activities offered at the studios for local community organisations, including the Richmond Fellowship Mental Health Charity, schools and Scout groups. Adam also runs Boom Tribe, Horsham’s Samba Band with Nick Jenkins. Mandy says: “We keep our hire fees at a reasonable level to encourage participation, promoting live music in the district.” Adam sums up: “We’ve fully refurbished, incorporating wheelchair access and it’s great that we’ve been recognised with accreditation as an approved centre for RSL (Rock School) music exams.” The lively notice board showcases many opportunities for musicians – both playing vacancies and positions sought, confirming that QM Studios is the thriving hub of our district’s many enthusiastic music makers. QM Studios operates as part of the HDLMA which is a not for profit enterprise working in partnership with HDC, supported in particular by Community Development Officer Nick Jenkins.

www.qmstudios.co.uk – qmstudios@btinternet.com – 07813 049666

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *