Apex Music Centre
Our vision was to create a thriving creative community that actively promotes and facilitates inclusion and accessibility within the arts, allowing all to benefit from social, psychological, educational, and personal enrichment. To foster the development of an engaged creative community through the provision of affordable and accessible arts-based lessons, workshops, productions & events; encouraging inclusion, community cohesion and promoting mental health & well-being across Northern Ireland and we are well on our way, but we are only getting started. We want to be a driving force that brings people from every and any background together for the focus of creativity and community building. To be as creative as we possibly can and help others nurture and express their own creativity.
At the root of all creativity lies passion and to nurture and encourage creativity without putting our heart and soul into it would be meaningless. We will therefore strive to be passionate about everything we do and to encourage others to do the same.
Where it all began
Apex Music Co began as a simple thought from its owner Oran McGuckin who wanted to turn his passion for guitar maintenance into a business in 2014. Originally planned as “McGuckin Guitar Repairs”, the business quickly developed with the idea of building electric guitar pickups, and the name ‘Apex Music Co’ was created. On completing his qualifications with Southern Regional College, Oran already had Apex Music Co ready to open for business, and so the adventure began.
After a short time, a need was identified for a recording studio and rehearsal space within the local area to support Mid Ulster musicians and artists. With a lifelong passion for music, Oran wanted to provide this within Apex Music Co, and secured a suitable venue for both recording and rehearsal facilities, now known as ‘Apex Studios’.
As the Apex brand continued to grow, so did the team, and soon Apex Music Co began to offer photography, videography & digital media project management, and Apex was looking confidently to the future.
March 2020 saw the beginning of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary closure of Apex Music Co & Studios. During multiple lockdowns, it became very clear that it was now time for a change. The team’s perspective changed, and with a shared love for all things creative, the focus shifted to how Apex Music Co could share this passion, and become a vehicle to help drive a connected and thriving local community, providing opportunities and support through music and the arts.
A decision was made to redevelop the business model as a music community centre, working as a not-for-profit with community benefits at the core of their services.
We then got our heads together and began planning, looking for more of a centralised premises that would allow us to work within our local community more closely, then almost like fate we discovered a woman’s community group closing down and their old building going up for rent. We didn’t have the money, we had never run a community group before and we had never rented a space as large as this, but we knew this was the space.
After getting some fantastic help from our friends, community, and the previous occupants, we moved into our new space and began work on it to create a creative shared space for everyone to feel comfortable.
With some rooms needing more work than others we set ourselves a deadline of 1 week to complete a large portion of the rooms in our new space so we could quickly begin music lessons to pay the rent. Fast forward through a lot of long nights, a lot of painting, and a lot of cleaning, we finally opened our doors to the public on 1st June 2021 and we haven’t looked back once.