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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Opening weekend for Hamel Music Center

Credit: WISC
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Opening weekend for Hamel Music Center
Opening weekend for Hamel Music Center
It's a big weekend on the UW campus, particularly for the School of Music.

Downtown.... it's a big weekend on the u-w campus... particularly for the school of music.

The hamel music center will be open to the public for the first time with a full weekend of opening celebrations.

The $55 point eight million dollar center was completely funded by private donations.

The building on univeristy avenue puts the school of music on a whole new plain.

In a first ever look inside, we were given a tour by the director of the mead witter school of music susan c.


We start in the two story, 300 seat, collins recital hall, named after donors paul and carol collins, who named their gift in honor of paul's mother, adele stoppenbach collins, who graduated from the school of music in 1929, and instilled in paul, his love of music.

Susan c.

Cook paul collins is just such a afficiando of chamber music, he and his wife, both very, very astute listeners and very involved both in the uk and.

Us, and so it just seems so fitting for that chamber held to be so beautiful and named for him and his mother.

Mark the light in the lobby is a very impressive.

Susan c.

Cook well, it is the way we welcome madison and the rest of the world into our space.

And it's also wonderful in that at the end of a show, we walk back out into the world.

Mark what are some of the highlights here?

Susan c.

Cook first of all, this wonderful chandelier that was a gift from the class of 1965.

It's made out of high grade copper, plumbing, tubing.

Mark and this staircase,.

Susan c.

Cook a beautiful staircase as well.

We think of this as one of the signature elements here.

Again, practical way to get people up and down, way to have the lobby be two stories.

Mark purple,.

Susan c.

Cook purple because of our commitment to wisconsin and the wisconsin idea.

What better way to signal that than to use the colors that are in the life cycle of the maple leaf.

They go from that sort of yellow, orange gold and then go into the deep reds and into the purples as they go through their cycle.

So that's what he used as the the color palette for the for the whole building.

Mark were next to one of the busiest intersections in the city.

It's dead quiet.

Susan c.

Cook it is dead quiet in here.

That was, again, central to what we wanted to do was to have this be the best acoustic space possible.

Each space here is its own concrete box within a larger concrete structure, pre cast concrete wall, 12 inches thick.

And then what they call an acoustical joint, which is a dead air space.

So you have concrete and air and everything possible to keep the sounds out and to keep the sounds you want in.

Mark i remember when this was being constructed, there was a circles on the side.

Yes, there they are.

The box within the box.

Susan c.

Cook they're part of the box within the box.

Mark all right.

So we're in the lobby.

We have rehearsal over here.

Susan c.

Cook let's check out the rehearsal hall.

It's gorgeous.

It's bigger than any of the rehearsal halls we've had before.

It's got a wonderful damped sound.

You feel how intimate the sound feels.

But notice the fact, as the students have said, it's like watching a silent film.

You can't hear the cars.

Mark it's incredible how insulated.

Susan c.

Cook you can't hear the buses go by.

You can't hear the sirens.

Mark the entrance to the main hall.

Susan c.

Cook so, again, here we are in this beautiful purple space.

But the orange from the fall at our feet and the circles design elements again and also for better acoustics.

Even on the ceiling to break up the sound waves.

Mark all right.

Let's go inside.

Suzanne, this is breathtaking.

Susan c.

Cook we love it already.

It's this design feature here.

Again, it's all for the acoustic these curb spaces so that the sound waves break up in different ways that they don't set up a back and forth.

That would be a problem.

We have circles over there on each side that actually go into what we call the ears of this room.

It's these big resonating chambers on the side.

What this allows is a space that is incredibly flexible.

It can be very, very resonant for voices and for brass instruments that want that kind of sound.

So it can almost sound like you're in a wonderful european cathedral, but then you can bring down the draperies so that it becomes a drier space, which is better for some of the larger ensembles, though the string players can really hear themselves through active right now.

It's very active right now.

Mark these chairs are interesting.

Susan c.

Cook yes, the chairs, of course, the upholstery was chosen by the architect picks up that the circle treatment.

That's one of the design elements.

Mark what does this building mean to the school of music?

Susan c.

Cook tears come to my eyes.


It means so much.

I think the thing that i've heard that really stuck with me from one of the students, she commented on how wonderful it was to feel respected that a space like this made you feel that what you were doing was worthwhile.

That it made you feel like you were a part of the much larger mission of the university.

And, of course, the mission of just being a part of the cultural life of the world.

And so to have something like this that has been entirely provided by donors through philanthropy.

It feels like it's this this wonderful wisconsin project.

At its biggest understanding of the wisconsin idea has guys an idea again in music and music.

Yep, absolutely.

And as we mentioned, you can check out the center all weekend long.

Things kick off at 6:45 tomorrow evening with a musical fanfare and a ribbon cutting followed by a full concert at 7:30.

There are events all weekend long, for a list go to music dot wisc dot edu slash events.

Still to come at four, the latest marquette law school poll is out.

It covers everything from impeachment to gun control... to democratic candidates for president... poll director charles franklin, joins us next to break down the numbers...

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