Claremont Graduate University received a $1.5 million gift for a major renovation of GMB, formerly the Graduate Management Building, on Dartmouth Avenue (between 9th and 10th Streets), which was completed in 2003. In honor of the donor, this building was renamed the Stauffer Hall of Learning, and the guiding principle of the remodel has been an emphasis on technology.
The first floor contains two “smart classrooms,” general-purpose classrooms used by all academic departments at CGU. Albrecht Auditorium underwent a total renovation, improving its design and increasing its functionality. And the basement floor became the Department of Music’s new location.
Comprising roughly 2,250 square feet, this floor was completely reconfigured to include a “Music Suite” and departmental offices. The Music Suite includes a variety of multi-functional spaces. The largest space is our music classroom, which accommodates twenty students. This classroom incorporates the latest technology for instruction. It includes a high-resolution ceiling-mounted projector and screen for display of video and computer signals, a commercial-grade surround sound system, a MIDI grand piano, and wireless controlling devices for the Macintosh computer and connected peripherals in the adjacent control room.
In addition to the classroom, the Music Suite includes four other spaces, three of which serve as practice spaces, and two of which also include high-end music technology workstations, for work with MIDI, digital audio, digital video, and film scoring. The classroom and all three practice rooms have also been designed to serve as recording spaces. All the spaces are acoustically isolated, with infrastructure connecting each space to the control room. The control room contains a high-end Pro Tools HD recording system and control surface, as well as MIDI, digital audio, digital video, and film-scoring capabilities. Thus, in addition to its customary uses for classroom instruction and student practicing, listening, and viewing, the entire “Music Suite” is capable of serving as a fully-functioning recording studio. We are now capable of recording piano or single instruments or vocals in the smaller spaces, or small groups up to perhaps fifteen instruments in the classroom space by removing its tables and chairs. This opened up a host of new possibilities for our students and our program. Across the corridor from the Music Suite are three faculty offices, a secretarial area, a reception area, and a media storage area.
We acquired three new Yamaha grand pianos (two C5s and an MPC1) for the new facility, and relocated our Steinway B (formerly housed in Albrecht Auditorium), our practice upright, and our two double-manual harpsichords.
The practice rooms are now available seven days per week, twenty-four hours per day, except when classes are in session in the Music Classroom (Rm. 010). Rooms may be reserved for up to two hours per day on a sign-up sheet posted in Rm. 010 and are otherwise available on a first-come, first-served basis. Current, qualified students may check-out keys to the building and practice rooms in the Music Department administrative office.