BRYANSTON School has opened a new state-of-the-art £8.5m music school building and staked its claim to being the best school of its kind in the UK for music.

The Tom Wheare Music School has been designed by Hopkins Architects, who came up with the London 2012 Velodrome.

It is named after retired headmaster Tom Wheare and is a much-needed replacement for Bryanston's old music school, which was built by pupils in the 1950s.

“This is a hugely exciting and ambitious development for the school,” said Bryanston's headteacher, Sarah Thomas.

“Music has always been at the heart of life here and with the completion of the new school, we now have a facility which meets the requirements of the talents and hard work of our pupils and staff.”

The building's centrepiece is a 300-seat concert hall with a 150 square metre stage designed to hold a large-scale symphony orchestra.

The hall features adjustable panels that can change the space's acoustics to suit a range of performers from soloists to a full orchestra. The concert hall itself has been named after leading conductor Sir Mark Elder, who was a pupil at Bryanston.

Sir Mark said: “Music-making has always been central to the life of Bryanston - and my own experience of this played no small part in what I may have achieved in my subsequent professional life.

“Every child has a talent and Bryanston believes in discovering and fostering these talents. This wonderful new concert hall is a thrilling testament to these principles and will benefit many generations to come.”

The school also contains 35 teaching or practice rooms and offices, two large academic classrooms, a recital room, a chamber music room, recording studios and a film-music editing suite, two keyboard computer rooms, a large percussion studio, a staff room, specially soundproofed band rooms and a courtyard area for outdoor performances.