SAU Buzz

Symphonic Band finds a new home on campus

by Edgar Rodriguez
Posted on Nov 08, 2018

At first glance the shrewd lonely brick building attached to Ambrose hall may seem lifeless. You may walk past it all the time going to class never bothering to take a second look.

However, in a few weeks you may hear sound of music breathing new life in the vine-covered LeClaire Hall. Built in 1916, LeClaire Hall was home to the gymnasium and pool at St. Ambrose University. Once the pool closed, the building was used as storage and workspace for the maintenance department.

As of this year the St. Ambrose Symphonic Band have grown to the point they don't fit in the multi purpose rehearsal room in Galvin, according to Fine Arts Administrative Assistant Terri Flynn Buesing.

“We wanted to have the two ensembles moved to LeClaire hall before school started in August, because in reality we have space issues with more enrollment,” said Buesing.

There are many groups and classes that use Madsen Hall in Galvin, which, is prepared by music work-studies on a daily basis. The symphonic band has practiced only twice-in LeClaire Hall, due to booking issues with the rehearsal room in Galvin says Busesing.

Symphonic Band Conductor Dr. Nicholas Enz believes that the move to a larger, flat and open space will be quite beneficial to the ensemble and larger instruments. Moving the band to LeClaire Hall “means that Madsen could be used as potential space for sectionals or chamber rehearsals,” Enz said.

With the band eventually moving into LeClaire Hall, Enz is confident that issues with loudness in the late afternoon will not affect the occupants of Ambrose Hall.

“In fact this was one of our primary concerns about moving to this space and so we tested this pretty extensively last spring and early this fall. When the doors are shut, LeClaire and Ambrose are sonically isolated,” Enz said.

The actual plan to move has taken several months to execute, but is nearly complete.

“More than likely this will happen in the middle of November. There is still plenty of tweaking that needs to take place once instruments and equipment have been moved and we start rehearsing regularly,” Enz said.

Nearing the final stages of renovation, LeClaire Hall will go through some subtle changes with the addition of curtains to help acoustics and fresh coat paint before the symphonic band can rehearse in their new home.