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Morrison Hall: Watch this space

“It looks so different! It’s great!” “I love the new office!” These are some of the comments we have been hearing as we near completion of a remodeling project that has completely altered the shape and feel of half of Morrison Hall’s top floor. Planning to renovate the space began even before the library moved into its new home in the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library ten years ago, but only recently were we able to obtain the necessary funding.

So far, the work has focused on dividing up the space into new teaching, rehearsal, office, and storage areas. Soon the four new teaching spaces will feature state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities. We now have three rooms that are focused on ethnomusicology: a “soft instrument room”, the gamelan room, and a room that can accommodate drumming and other, louder instruments. Other than the gamelan room, these rooms will be multi-use. We are only beginning to discover the possibilities!

Maria Wenner with Steinway

Maria Wenner in the newly renovated ensemble rehearsal room in Morrison Hall, with the Steinway Model M+ she donated in loving memory of her mother, Lila Wenner.

Of major benefit is a new ensemble rehearsal room. This will house groups such as the conducting classes, the Chamber Orchestra, the Eco Ensemble and also multiple other uses. In addition we have a new choral office, a new rehearsal studio, a new choral library,
a new faculty office and a new office for lecturers and emeriti.

Phase 3 will begin as soon as classes end this semester. This phase will include: replacing the existing wall along the top of the stairway with an updated, fire-resistant wall; upgrading the existing bathrooms in the basement to meet current code requirements, and finishing up on details that are still outstanding.

All this work has been possible through a donation made by the late Eugene E. Andersen in memory of his wife Roxy Andersen, to support facilities for ethnomusicology, and matching funds from the campus’ Capital Bank. A contribution from Arts and Humanities Dean Cascardi completed the package. We are truly thankful to all the people who have made this possible.

If you haven’t come by in a while, do come and see the improvements!

— JC, 12/2014