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Music department moves up a bar

by admin September 14, 2010

Concordia’s music department has found a new home at the John Molson School of Business building in the heart of the downtown campus, where it will join its fine arts colleagues in the Department of Contemporary Dance and the Department of Theatre.

The move from Loyola’s Refectory building has been in the works for about two years and was completed this summer, according to music professor Christopher Jackson.

Jackson stated that the reason for the move was more of an architectural problem than anything else. “It was triggered by a complete rebuild,” he said. “The refectory building was turned into a conference building that was never a good place for the music department to begin with.”

Jackson noted that the dining halls and big stained glass windows of the program’s former home were characteristics that are unaccommodating to sound and musical performance.

This September, students relocated themselves to the MB building where classrooms and studios can be found on the eighth floor. Singers, musicians, and faculty can now enjoy spaces created with their art in mind.

“It was purposely built for music,” said Jackson. “The new space is the best accommodation the department has ever had.”

The modifications include proper soundproofing, spaces designed by an acoustician to meet the department’s needs, along with jazz, electro-acoustic and choir “smart rooms.” Pianists can enjoy playing on brand new pianos and soloists can hit their high notes in state-of-the-art practice modules.

All the enhancements were made possible by government funding, according to Jackson. An $11 million grant was given to the Faculty of Fine Arts from the Canada-Québec Knowledge Infrastructure Program.

Generally, the response in the department has been all positive. At the Loyola campus, the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall will continue to be used for performances and recordings.