HARPSICHORDS and hammers; African drums and whirring drills; some symphonies just aren’t that harmonious. Given that construction doesn’t blend very well with music, most of the Music Department has temporarily moved to new venues to accommodate the renovation and expansion of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, which began in early January. The highly anticipated building update will include a full renovation of the Concert Hall and the addition of rehearsal space. A new Arts Commons also will be created, as well as additional lobby space for the Concert Hall and main stage theater.
Until the space reopens in fall 2012, concerts, classes, rehearsals, and offices will relocate to
- Music classes will be held in a wide variety of locations on campus or near it.
• Concerts will be held at Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel, the Alexander G. Hill Ballroom, or Macalester Plymouth Church.
- Rehearsals will be held in space leased from Immanuel Lutheran Church and Ramsey Junior High School. Pipe band and African Music Ensemble will practice in Turck Hall; a practice room in George Draper Dayton Hall will also be put to use.
- Faculty offices will be relocated to the former HealthEast building at Snelling and Portland Avenues.
Provost Kathleen Murray, herself an accomplished pianist, says, “Our primary goal has >been to keep as much of the Music Department’s work as possible on or adjacent to campus, and with the flexibility and good humor of the faculty, we have accomplished that goal. Life will not be perfect, but the wonderful facilities that will reopen 18 months later will be well worth the temporary inconvenience.”