ASPIRING musicians at an Oxford school got the ultimate inspiration as rock star Brian Eno opened its new music department.

Work on the £4.5m building at Headington School, Headington Road, has now finished and pupils at the all-girls public school will start lessons in September, The former Roxy Music member, who has worked with artists as diverse as David Bowie and Coldplay, officially opened the new centre as part of the school’s foundation day celebrations on Saturday.

He said: “I sneaked a look in-side the studio, which looks lovely and I’m envious of the girls being able to use it.

“It’s fitting that a progressive school such as Headington should choose to add to its music department this kind of facility for new music. I hope they will use it in the spirit in which it was intended.”

Mr Eno’s younger daughter, Darla, 18, is currently one of the school’s head girls, and his older daughter Irial was also a pupil at the school.

The building was opened to a trumpet fanfare from pupils Emma Cookson, Phoebe Co-wen and Eve Edwards.

Eleven-year-old Rebecca Colquhoun, who joins the school in September, was treated to a tour of the control room and mixing desks by Mr Eno.

She said: “It was really good. I can’t wait to use it.”

The building will replace the school’s existing music facilities, which were built in the 1920s.

It includes a recording studio, an electronic music studio, a concert venue, an outdoor amphitheatre and more than a dozen individual practice and teaching rooms.

As part of the celebrations to mark its completion, a composition contest is being held, with girls of all ages vying for the chance for their piece of music to be played in the new facilities in the autumn term.

Headteacher Anne Coutts said: “We are really delighted with it – it has been a long time in the planning.

“We have more than 400 music lessons a week and currently only eight practice rooms, so we’ve been going round every small room in the school working out if you could play a trombone in it.

“Now we have a music school where all those lessons can happen in the same place.”

Tours of the new building were offered as part of Saturday’s celebrations.

She added: “The girls are very excited and can’t wait to use it in September.

“They will have the space and facilities they have never had before as well as every technological aid to their music-making.”