Photo Courtesy of Sower Staff
By Caleb Gierke
The long awaited music building renovations have been given a tentative groundbreaking date, Spring 2021. This comes after being delayed from their prior April 2019 date that disrupted schedules of music students across campus. The anticipated completion date for the renovations is Fall of 2022, giving about a year of construction.
The renovations for this building are meant to make the building accessible to all people with the added benefit of helping with instrument transportation and preservation.
“Additionally, the elevator will make moving instruments from place to place within the building safer for students and it will preserve the life expectancy of large instruments that have been carried up and down flights of stairs for many years,” Music Department Chair Kurt von Kampen said.
The renovations will also be helping with sound levels and sound spaces with rooms being designed to minimize the sound bleeding from room to room, instead keeping the sounds in the rooms they belong at safe decibel levels.
“So much of this project will have to do with what you do not see,” von Kampen said.
In terms of more commonly visible changes, the renovations will add 23 additional practice rooms for students, 12 additional teaching studios and a recording studio. These smaller spaces are accompanied by newer larger acoustically treated rooms for the larger choirs and instrument ensembles. This allows for the numerous choirs and ensembles to have their own spaces that will be able to accommodate all of their needs, whether it be numerous instruments or singers.
The upcoming changes have many music majors excited.
“The change I’m most excited about is the addition of an elevator,” junior Bekah Guilford said. “This will not only help with transportation of large percussion instruments, but will provide accessible access to the entire building.”
While there will be changes and disruptions, students and staff are hopeful for the future of the music department.
“It [the renovations to the music building] will allow future students so many more up to date resources that are standard at many other universities,” senior Avery Kesar said.
In terms of professors, Professor of Music Jeffrey Blersch is very excited for the opportunities a renovated building presents.
“We are greatly looking forward to watching the project come to life before our eyes and are eager to see the many ways that our students will be blessed by this tremendous new facility,” he said. “It will be spectacular.”
Von Kampen echoed this excitement and said that a new facility makes it possible for even more musicians to be trained and for the program to grow.
The future of the music department seems bright with these new renovations. There will be more construction noise on campus, but the changes to the music building will no doubt allow Concordia’s biggest program to soar to even higher heights.