Renovations, Recital Hall Aid Music Department
academic year began on a high note for the NMU music department,
with the major renovation of Thomas Fine Arts. The department is
celebrating the use of its "new" facility and looking forward to
its first performance in the recently completed Reynolds Recital
Hall on Jan. 28.
the changes that have been made to TFA, Northern now has facilities
to rival nearly any university music department in the state, and
maybe in the Midwest,” said Don Grant (Music).
“This will greatly enhance our ability to recruit the top-notch
music students to NMU. In the past, our successful recruiting has
been linked to students’ interest in studying under a faculty member,
but now we have both outstanding faculty and facilities. That’s
a powerful combination.”
of the renovation include 28 newly designed practice rooms. Sixteen
are Wenger studios, named for the company that set the standard
for music industry facilities. In fact, NMU's percussion ensemble
room is the largest Wenger studio ever built. Two of the Wenger
rooms are "V-ready," which means they have programmed capabilities
to perfectly duplicate the acoustics of other venues. For instance,
a student can simulate the Berry Events Center or St. Peter’s Cathedral
and can practice with the exact acoustical setting they will experience
when they perform in those facilities. According to Grant, NMU is
the only state university in Michigan with V-ready rooms.
lot of thought and discussion went into the redesign of this building,”
points out that great effort was taken to integrate the university’s
laptop program into all aspects of the redesign. The new music technology
laboratory features 24 keyboard stations – each with an accompanying
area for a student’s notebook computer. The former lab had 12 stations.
There are also music technology trees designed by Brandon
Sager (Engineering and Planning) in the practice rooms.
Each holds a notebook computer and speakers and is detached from
the wall, so as not to compromise the integrity of the acoustical
panels on the wall. The panels are also installed in the practice
rooms and classrooms along "vocal alley."
enhancements include a new music education classroom designed to
simulate a public school setting for future teachers, and an improved
storage area with floor-to-ceiling compartments of various sizes
with humidity control to protect the instruments.
Recital Hall in C.B. Hedgcock, with a seating capacity of 300, will
be used for the first time Friday, Jan. 28, for a performance by
Nancy Redfern (Music) on piano and Barbara
Rhyneer (Music) on violin.
is a premier facility for our student and faculty recitals and the
crowning jewel to this project," said Grant. "It is constructed
of wood veneer because the cellular structure of wood acts sympathetically
to sound. I had an opportunity to rehearse in here last week and
it was like heaven. If you can ever imagine nirvana setting into
your discipline, this was it for me."
of the venue include curtains over the side wall panels that can
be opened or closed to expand or dampen the sound; six different
computerized lighting presets to accentuate various moods, from
intimate chamber music to full-fledged orchestra; a humidity-controlled
"safe room" for the two concert grand pianos; and high-backed seats
of slightly varying widths with plenty of leg room for walking between
sacrificed on the number of seats in order to gain on comfort,"
formal dedication of Reynolds Recital Hall is planned for April