The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music is adding to its ever-growing list of completed additions and renovations with a facelift to the former Chamber Hall in the Kulas Musical Arts Building.
Prior to the recent work done on the space, said Conservatory Concert Production and Scheduling Coordinator Craig Reynolds, the former Chamber Hall had not been renovated in decades. The seats were falling apart, and the acoustics were not up to standards, creating a “dead, bland sound”. Artists, Reynolds said, did not want to perform in a space that did not offer comfortable seating and a good sound.
According to Reynolds, the renovation could not have been possible without the financial support of Stephen Boesel, whose name is on the Boesel Musical Arts Building. With the renovation comes a new name for the venue: the Jacquelyn Jean Fynes Hall. The name honors Boesel’s late wife, a pianist and organist “and a joyful champion of the BW Conservatory and its keyboard programs.”
As the smallest performance venue in the conservatory, seating fewer than 100 people, the new Fynes Hall is geared toward intimate performances. Following the renovations, Reynolds said the space includes new seating with retractable tablet arms in order to accommodate classes to be held in the space. In addition, there are now ADA accessible seats in the venue.
Moreover, acoustics in the venue are now up to industry standards, he said, revitalizing the sound quality within the space. New maple wood acoustic shelling around the stage creates both a visually stunning look and an aurally stunning sound, and the light color of the maple serves to brighten up the venue.
There is now also more storage to house the two Steinway pianos. In order to create more room, the organ that was previously housed in the former Chamber Hall was removed.
The renovations that started in the fall of 2018 are now complete and the facility is available for BW faculty and students, other campus departments, and the outside community to use.
The Conservatory will continue to invite guest artists and faculty and student recitals to this updated performance venue.