Thursday, September 30, 2010
UNT concert hall reopens with new look, new name
The college decided to name the hall after Paul Voertman, the original owner of Voertman’s Book Store, because he has been one of Denton’s distinguished residents for years.
The newly renovated concert hall in the UNT Music Building will once again be filled with music, but with better acoustics.
The hall, renamed the Paul Voertman Concert Hall, will have preview performances starting Friday.
The demolition and construction process began in February and cost $6.4 million. Jim Scott, the dean of the College of Music, said everything, including the roof, is new.
The original lighting, set up in the 1960s when the concert hall first opened, was still there, he said, and all the chairs squeaked, “especially in the quiet parts,” of the music.
“It was really old and needed to be repaired,” said Meredith Healan, a music senior.
Nathan Hodgson, a music sophomore, is enthusiastic about the changes.
“It’s awesome,” Hodgson said. “Everyone’s going to have a good space to practice and play in.”
Both Scott and George Papich, the director for chamber music studies, agreed the acoustics were a major improvement. Papich said they were “almost perfect,” and they will give the hall “a different flavor.”
“We’ve tried to push our limits and have had different types of groups like the One O’ Clock Lab Band and even an a cappella group sing to test out the sound,” Scott said.
The Voertman Concert Hall now has adjustable panels for the acoustics to accommodate the different types of performances that will be held there.
The revamped hall will host smaller performances.
Since the Murchison Performing Arts Center is so large, it makes sense to have a smaller performance hall, Scott said.
The seating in the hall went from 625 chairs to 380, making the hall a better space for student and faculty recitals and more efficient in accommodating smaller crowds.
The college decided to name the hall after Paul Voertman, the original owner of Voertman’s Book Store, because he has been one of Denton’s distinguished residents for years, Scott said. He said Voertman was also one of the first to make private donations to the university.
“[Voertman] has always been very generous,” Scott said.
Starting in October, there will be preview performances and a free three-part inaugural concert series Nov. 3, 5, and 7.
The first night will be a mix of students and faculty playing American chamber music spanning the last 300 years, Papich said. The National Endowment for the Arts will fund the concert with a $20,000 grant, according to the nea.org website.
The second night, Papich said, will feature music from Jake Heggie, the composer of the opera “Moby-Dick” and artist-in-residence. The final night of the series will be a faculty recital and will kick off with a large fanfare.
Scott said the Voertman Concert Hall will host more performances than any other space on campus.
Pegasus News Content partner - North Texas Daily
- 35 Denton's pop-up venue The Hive will soon be a permanent live music spot
- Restaurant review: Michael's Kitchen makes mediocre meals unlikely to impress or offend
- Chef Tim Love brings fine dining to the Denton Square with Queenie's Steakhouse
- Denton's Bavarian beer house, Gerhard's, gets stamp of approval from German natives
- Restaurant review: J&J's Pizza stands the test of time in Denton