The music rooms at 4-8 Villiers Street, Grafton were established in the 1930s by the Sisters of Mercy as part of the catholic school system, but also offered lessons to non-catholic students. Fifty years later, in 1982, under the direction of Sr Cecilia Moran, purpose built premises were constructed, and the centre named St Cecilia’s Music Academy.
In 1995 the Sisters of Mercy ceased to be involved in the day to day operations of the centre, while retaining ownership of the buildings. For the next 2 years the centre became a campus of the Northern Rivers Conservatorium.
The centre then became an independent, incorporated, community based organization, called St Cecilia’s Music and Performing Arts Centre of Grafton Inc. with a newly formed Management Committee and Administrator. Later in this year St Cecilia’s received $15,000 from the Department of Education and Training under the Regional Conservatorium Program and was formally accepted into the NSW Regional Conservatorium Association in 1999 when recurrent funding from the Department of Education and Training commenced.
To reflect the amalgamation of several local council regions in 2003, the name changed to the Clarence Valley Conservatorium. At the same time the premises were purchased from the Sisters of Mercy, a Director was appointed alongside the Administrator and Clerical Officer and a campus opened in Maclean in rented premises from the Council.
Three years later, in 2006, the Maclean Campus closed and the office staff structure changed with the appointment of an Administrator, Accounts Officer and Programs Coordinator. In 2008 the administration structure expanded and now consists of a Director, Finance Manager, Clerical Assistant and Programs Coordinator.
The Clarence Valley Conservatorium Incorporated is a not-for-profit registered charity and as such donations are tax deductible.