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New status results in the sound of music

Visitors to Northampton school for girls will soon be greeted by the sound of music.

The school, the first awarded specialist status as a music college, is hoping to install a system which will flood the reception area with sound.

More than one in five of its 1,000 pupils plays a musical instrument and its choir, "Madrigalis", reached last year's national finals of the Music Festival for Youth. The extra half-million pounds guaranteed by specialist status will contribute to a PFI development providing the pupils with a music centre with the latest equipment, instruments and sound-proofed rooms.

The head, Penny Westwood said: "We believe that the disciplines involved in learning an instrument, or being part of a musical team will boost the academic performance and confidence of our pupils."

The facilities will also be made available to the local community and schools.

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