By Daniel Pagan
The University of Calgary Department of Music is jamming more freely after two people donated a combined $1 million towards the Music Department Facilities Renovation and Relocation Project.
Dick Matthews, one of the founding members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra who has donated generously to various art departments at the U of C in the past, donated $500,000 to the Department of Music. The gift was matched by an anonymous donor, bumping the total to $1 million.
The donation enables the department to renovate the music rehearsal facilities by looking for sophisticated acoustic treatments, meaning the practice rooms are soundproofed so students do not have to deal with erratic and muddy sounds, better control of music stands, new chairs and instruments.
Music Department head William Jordan said the project would result in a new rehearsal space that is closer in form and function to the Rozsa Centre’s Eckhardt-Gramatte Concert Hall stage, by renovating the existing space in Craigie Hall.
“The gift of $1 million to the Department of Music will enable us to provide much needed upgrades to our rehearsal and teaching spaces, specifically for instrumental music,” said Jordan. “Coming at this time, the gift contributes to a positive, forward-looking, and confident approach to the future we want for our students and community partners.”
In a press statement released on April 12, former Fine Arts faculty dean Ann Calvert explained the donation was very useful for the department, as most of their facilities are aging and need repair for contemporary teaching.
“Old facilities are not always the right kind of spaces for our current teaching, sound or even room set-up,” Calvert wrote. “This renovation will provide us with more flexibility and updated amenities.”