BYU students, faculty begin move into new Music Building

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This is the staircase and foyer leading to the concert hall in the new Music Building. Though the concert hall is not completed, many of the spaces within the new building are. (Anna Hair)

Students and faculty of the School of Music have started to move into classrooms and practice rooms in the new building as of Jan. 17 while they await the completion of the performance halls.

The new Music Building, located east of the law school, broke ground on June 15, 2020, and was projected to be completed this winter semester. University Communications said, “The 170,000-square-foot Music Building will have four levels and feature more mid-sized spaces for practice and recitals, including practice rooms located on the upper floor.” These practice rooms and classrooms have now opened their doors to students and faculty.

Students practice instruments in a class at the new music building. Classrooms and rehearsal spaces are now in use as of Jan. 17. (Anna Hair)

BYU student Camille Krieger started class in the Music Building on Tuesday and said the building is fun to be in. “It’s fun because all the classrooms and rehearsal spaces are geared for instruments, they’re geared for choirs, they’re geared for musicians,” Krueger said.

Krieger said many of the spaces in the Harris Fine Arts Center were just general spaces, whereas the new Music Building has rooms such as the choral room, specifically built and engineered for choirs.

Her favorite part of the new building is the concert hall because it is engineered for the sound that comes from choirs and orchestras. “People sitting in the audience are going to be able to hear the sound envelope them, which I am really excited about,” Krieger said.

Ed Adams, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications said the rehearsal rooms “have been completely tuned digitally, acoustically for sound to move through those places.”

This is the choral room at the new Music Building. Classrooms and rehearsal spaces are now in use as of Jan. 17. (Anna Hair)

Adams said that are around 200 pianos and 9 organs that were moved from the HFAC to the new building during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

BYU student Ruoxi Yang works at the piano shop on campus and helped line up the pianos to be moved from the HFAC. After the pianos were moved to the new building, Yang spent time tuning pianos within various rooms in the new building.

A piano sits in one of the practice rooms at the new Music Building. Classrooms and rehearsal spaces are now in use as of Jan. 17 (Anna Hair)

“A good thing is that this time nothing is underground, so it feels better, especially when you look at a practice room, you’ll see a window instead of endless hallway,” Yang said.

Though the move-ins, there is still construction going on in the concert hall and recital hall. These delays are mostly due to supply chain issues and labor shortages.

Adams commented on these delays within the concert hall. “It’s all acoustical treatments for the most part now which also means a certain number of things can’t go in until those treatments get in, and so we are just catching up with a labor shortage at the moment,” Adams said.

The School of Music also released a statement saying, “The finishing touches and technical calibration of the Concert Hall and other spaces will require additional time before their public debut.” Because these spaces will require more time, many performances have been postponed, moved or canceled.

Currently, the School of Music is looking into renting other venues such as the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City to still be able to hold these performances.

Krieger said she was sad when she found out that many performances were not going to be held at the Music Building, but understands. “We want this building to be great and so having the patience to wait for our spaces to be done, while it is sad … I’m okay with it and it gives us the opportunity to sing and perform in some really cool spaces,” Krieger said.

“I want to see a principle-based institution that follows the Savior Jesus Christ and shows the rest of the world how we can build spirituality and testimony and still be the best on a temporal level or musicality level with the rest of the world,” Adams said of his hopes for the building.

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