After months of planning, a summer of construction, a partially collapsed ceiling, and other myriad obstacles, the Music Department was finally able to move back into Room 218, our venerable choir room, on Oct. 19. The remodeled room serves multiple purposes: it is the rehearsal space for all of our choirs (The University Singers, PolyPhonics and Early Music Ensemble), and the Arab Music Ensemble; it hosts our large general education (GE) courses, vocal practicum, master classes, student recitals and senior recitals, faculty and guest artist presentations, large departmental meetings, and the occasional post-Performing Arts Center performance reception.
Remodeling a room that serves many purposes is a significant challenge, and we owe special thanks to our project manager from Facilities Services, Dave Norton, and our architect, Stephen King. The acoustics have been improved tremendously. Air handling is now almost inaudible, and the carefully placed acoustic treatments on the ceiling and walls have added a glorious resonance to a rather dry room. We now have whiteboards for classroom use (no more chalk dust in pianos!), an improved sightline for the enlarged overhead screen, and side handrails for safer negotiation of the risers. Aesthetically, the room is visually pleasing, with new wood flooring complementing the varied color scheme, while the paneled walls and ceiling reflectors add textural interest.