Leighton Park School in Reading, UK, launched the Michael Malnick Centre (MMC) in March 2019 to support the school’s music, media and film students. Karen Gibson, conductor of the Kingdom Choir, opened the new facilities at a gala event which included performances by Leighton Park students.
The new centre is named after Michael Malnick, who attended Leighton Park from 1938 to 1944 and went on to be a respected actor, enjoying an illustrious career and touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is perhaps best know for The Darwin Adventure (1972 ), The Far Pavilions (1984) and Goodbye Mr Chips (1984). Malnick was a bursary holder at Leighton Park and bequeathed a very generous gift to the Leighton Park Bursary Fund on his death.
The Michael Malnick Centre provides three new music classrooms, seven additional music practice rooms, a Yamaha Live Lounge recording studio and a digital media studio. The digital media studio acts as a base for the School’s BTEC in Digital Media Production as well as several related co-curricular hobbies, including Film, TV and Animation club.
Leighton Park is a Yamaha Flagship Music Education Partner, the only school in Europe to have this level of partnership. There are 27 music teachers at the school and over 50% of students study a musical instrument.
The school’s commitment to media and film dates back nearly a century, with David Lean, an Oscar-winning film director, attending Leighton Park in the 1920s. Today, the school works in partnership with Pinewood Studios to ensure its teaching is in step with the requirements of industry.