In July of 2002, the first of Sanctuary's rehearsal and recording studios was built in a porta-cabin facility located in West Watford by Dan Carpenter. The vision was to create a happy and friendly space where musicians could feel at home in a comfortable and professional environment; a place that would inspire the creativity that lives within us all.
Within 18 months, the studio developed a good reputation amongst a small but ever-growing community of musicians, which ultimately led to the development of a second rehearsal studio and the beginnings of a new avenue of musical adventure by organising pub gigs, O'Neill's Unsigned & Heart Radio's Battle of the Band Competition, charity jamathons and open mic nights for local musicians.
It was upon this fast growing success that Dan, teamed up with Chris Evans in June of 2005 to take the studios to a bigger venue based in central Watford and personally undertook the design and building project for five new studios.
In October 2006, Sanctuary first entered into the field of music education, becoming a host facility for RSL Awards (Rockschool Ltd) as a Music Examination Centre.
2008 was an exciting year for Sanctuary, teaming up with the BBC and Gareth Malone to help with their TV series “The Choir”, to provide logistical support and stage management services for their outdoor concert, as well as going on to record a performance with Gareth conducting The South Oxhey Choir to a sold out audience at the Watford Colosseum.
2008 was also the year when Sanctuary's School of Music entered into official partnership with Hertfordshire County Council; to serve local secondary schools and educational support centres by successfully pioneering music performance and technology courses, with national qualifications for disadvantaged Key Stage 4 students.
2009 brought Sanctuary's first National Award for being the best Rockschool Examination Centre, as well as going on to win another National Award in 2010 for Sanctuary's contribution to Work Experience in Secondary Schools.
2011 saw our fourth successful year in music education, and was also the year that gave birth to the innovative concept to establish a Free School of Music.
The vision was one of simply opening the door to the studios and its education department, for those who cannot afford music tuition, born from the understanding that, musicality is innately instrumental within each and every one of us, coupled with the belief that it doesn’t matter who we are, or where we come from, music is a way out and a connection to our deeper self.
Armed with the power from which dreams are made, the Sanctuary team were inspired to create Art of Sound Promotions, an in-house events management team tasked with taking on the organisation and management of music events that would begin to fund the practicalities of raising up a Free School of Music.
Art of Sound Promotions still exists in support of the Free School of Music to this day, having organised hundreds of events over the years, which have seen the support of thousands of musicians from all over Greater London and the home counties, including a few famous names, helping us to raise tens of thousands of pounds in living the dream thus far.
In January of 2016, having already helped hundreds of aspiring young musicians, the Free School of Music was registered in Companies House as a Community Interest Company that continues to be financially supported through the events organised by Art of Sound Promotions in an official capacity, as well as from a number of donations from some very generous individuals.
Now in 2018, with five members on our team, Art of Sound Promotions are dedicated to organising some of the world's most popular music artists, bringing them to perform at the Watford Colosseum, the first of which is coming on February 6th 2019, which sees a celebration of the life and music of Bob Marley. Let's Stir It Up!