In celebration of the start of construction for a new classroom and recital hall that is to be built on campus, the music department will be hosting an event tomorrow at 11 a.m.
The ceremony, located at the project site on First and A streets, will consist of a tractor rolling through the area while drums are playing to mark the beginning of the clearing of the site before construction. After the initial ceremony, a piano concert and reception will be held at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.
The ceremony is being held in honor of the donors who have contributed a large sum to the project’s budget.
The new classroom and recital hall has been long underway, according to Clayton Halliday, assistant vice chancellor and campus architect.
“It’s been identified for a long time as a need for the music program to have a quality recital hall environment,” he explained.
The total cost of the project is $15 million.
Halliday explained that, due to limited state funding, much of the funding for the project has come from private donations.
“Right now, $10 million of that is [from] campus funds that had been set aside, and $5 million is from private donations,” said Halliday.
Of that $5 million, $1 million was donated by Davis residents Grace and Grant Noda in 2008. In addition, the Nodas have recently donated another $500,000 to the project.
The new building will consist of a large recital hall and several classrooms. The recital hall portion of the building will contain an audience chamber that seats 375 people at the center of the building and a performance platform, as well as spaces for ticket and coat check and a concessions area. Though the building will contain classrooms for student usage, Halliday points out that most of the larger classroom practices will be held in the recital hall.
Henry Spiller, professor of ethnomusicology and chair of the music department, and Phil Daley, Concert and Publicity Manager and assistant to Spiller, both agree that there is a great need for the new recital hall on campus.
“The music department has been enriching the cultural life of campus with concerts … and for the most part, these have been taking place in makeshift quarters. Our largest ensembles perform in the Mondavi Center … but the campus needs a place where smaller musical performances can take place that’s not a chalk-covered classroom,” Spiller explained.
Daley also emphasized the importance of what the recital hall will offer in terms of practice and performance space, which he says is difficult to come by in the music building, located west of the project site.
“It’s a space that is going to be vital to learning music,” Daley agreed. “You cannot learn as an individual performer unless put in an environment that incubates your learning.”
This Thursday’s event marks the beginning of the project. The project is expected to be completed by December 2014.
JESSICA GRILLIS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.