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UNT Insider | October 2010 Issue | Concert hall reopens this fall after $6.4 million renovation project

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Concert hall reopens this fall after $6.4 million renovation project

From a UNT News Service press release

Voertman Hall

A redesigned concert hall in the UNT Music Building will be fully unveiled later this fall, after a $6.4 million renovation project.

The renovation has created a more intimate performance space, enhanced acoustics and state-of-the-art equipment.

Formerly known as the Concert Hall, the performance space has been renamed The Paul Voertman Concert Hall in honor of Denton philanthropist Paul Voertman (pronounced "VERT-mun").

"The naming of Voertman Hall honors Paul's generosity to the College of Music, as well as to other parts of the university, and simultaneously pays tribute to his lifetime citizenship of Denton, where he set the highest of standards for a business serving the community during his ownership of Voertman's Book Store and Gift Shop," says College of Music Dean James C. Scott.

"We have benefited for several years now from Paul's decision to dedicate $1.5 million to build the Ardoin-Voertman organ in the Murchison Performing Arts Center," Scott added. "It is very fitting that someone who has been so generous and who represents genuine dedication to the arts and their tasteful presentation should lend his name to our new venue."

The Concert Hall, which opened in 1960, served as the major performance space for the College of Music until the 1999 opening of the 1,025-seat Winspear Performance Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center. With this renovation project, the 625-seat Concert Hall has been converted into a 380-seat hall to fill a need for a smaller performance space to be used for faculty and student recitals, chamber music and smaller ensemble concerts.

"We are thrilled with this transformation of a tired, worn-out and dated hall into a beautiful and acoustically splendid space that will serve our students and faculty for their many performances of solo and small ensemble music," Scott says. "There is no doubt that Voertman Hall will house more of our performances than any other College of Music space."

Preview performances began Oct. 1, and the hall will be formally inaugurated in a free three-part concert series in November, featuring:

  • A performance exploring three centuries of American chamber music on Nov. 3. A panel discussion will be held at 7 p.m., a concert at 8 p.m. and a reception at 9:30 p.m. The concert is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • A concert of music by Jake Heggie, composer of the nationally acclaimed opera Moby-Dick and artist-in-residence of UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts, at 8 p.m. Nov. 5. The program will include song cycles in chamber music settings and a recently composed work, Fury of Light, performed by Heggie on piano and Dean Scott on flute.
  • A College of Music faculty recital at 8 p.m. Nov. 7. The program will include a large-ensemble brass fanfare, music for flute and percussion, Brahms' Liebeslieder for four solo singers and two pianists, and a major work for strings and piano.

Demolition and construction on the renovation project began in the spring.

Improvements include:

  • Smaller stage and a more intimate environment for faculty and student recitals, chamber music, and small ensemble concerts
  • Vestibules around the perimeter of the hall to create a sound barrier between the interior and exterior of the space
  • Heavy, multi-layered walls to provide sound isolation
  • Control booth
  • Ticket booth
  • Green Room
  • New restrooms
  • Updated equipment in the mechanical room
  • Two large acoustic "clouds" on the ceiling of the stage that can be adjusted to accommodate acoustic needs of various performances
  • New lighting system
  • New audio system with surround sound capabilities
  • New lobby furnishings
  • Television monitor in the lobby to display performances and campus news

The renovation project team includes WHR Architects, Jaffe Holden Acoustics, Schuler Shook lighting and sound consultants, Purdy McGuire mechanical electrical plumbing, and Byrne construction services.

Ellen Rossetti with UNT News Service can be reached at ellen.rossetti@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:

October 2010

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