The Gabriel R. Langley Swanstone Conservatorium of the Performing Arts (SCPA), commonly known as Langley, is a college of music founded in 1830, now situated in the dedicated Langley campus in Swanstone, Cygnia. The Conservatorium offers instruction in music, dance and drama.
The Conservatorium was established in 1830 as the Swanstone Academy of Music by musician, nobleman and philanthropist Gabriel Langley, and had an initial intake of 20 students, mostly those taught by Langley himself. Since then, however, it has expanded considerably, now hosting a teaching staff of over 400, and a student body of around 4,580 students ranging from ages ten through twenty-eight. The Conservatorium upon Langley's death was bequeathed to the Cygnian Imperial Government; it now operates under the auspices of the Imperial Secretariat for Culture, Media and Sport and Imperial Secretariat for Education. Since 2005 the Conservatorium has been in free association with the Imperial University of Cygnia.
The Conservatorium is organised into three Schools. These are the
- School of Music
- School of Drama
- School of Dance
Each School has its own teaching and administrative staff, as well as its own building.
In addition, there is a combined Junior School, which teaches students aged ten to seventeen on weekends; these children attend normal schools during the week. The Junior School also occupies a separate building, and has a teaching staff of 100 pooled from the three other Schools. Currently, the Junior School has a student body of around 800.
The Conservatorium was from its conception located on Langley's own estate, which after he died was also bequeathed to the Government for the purposes of maintaining the Conservatorium's location. The original building which stood on the north side of the property has over the years been joined by a number of other buildings as the Conservatorium outgrew its original premises. The building currently housing the School of Drama was constructed from 1860 to 1865; the School of Dance building was built from 1924 to 1928. Administrative buildings were also constructed in the late 19th century, and an auditorium was built from 1900 to 1908. All buildings are arranged around a central courtyard.
The original School of Music building, severely damaged by bombings during the Great Australian War, was demolished and rebuilt starting in 1947. The new building was opened on 4 July 1953, and included some new, modern features, including a revitalised facade. The other two main buildings received renovations in the late 1960s and early '70s. Catering facilities, including a cafe, were built from 1982 to 1983. The latest addition to the Conservatorium campus is the Junior School building, which was built from 1995 to 2000, opening its doors to young students on February 3, 2001. To make room for the Junior School, a large garden which had been there since 1910 was removed; a new garden was later installed in the central courtyard.
The Conservatorium does not possess accommodation facilities. Adult students in the past have had to find their own arrangements. However, since partnering with the Imperial University, Conservatorium students have usually been simultaneous students of the Imperial University; boarding students would thus live on the CIU campus.
Each main building of the Conservatorium is dedicated to a notable former student or staff member of the Conservatorium. These are:
- Francis P. McCracken School of Music
- Tiberius J. Vogel School of Drama
- Stephanie C. Riley School of Dance
- Diana L. Goodes Hall (Auditorium)