Concert Halls

Early western music was greatly influenced by the church. western music was written solely for performance during church services, but as it developed and branched out away from the church it gained public popularity.  Thus, musicians wanted to make music more accessible for audiences, and by the classical era of Western music (ca. 1750), the concert hall had been developed.  The concert hall was where most classical music performances were given, and it has continued to be an integral part of classical music ever since that era.  Concert halls are typically large, open spaces with a stage for performers and multiple rows of seats for audience members.

The recordings on this page show how concert halls are used at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).  UNCSA has four concert halls, three of which are on campus.  We recorded performances and tunings by a variety of individuals and groups in these various performance settings.  Our recording locations include three of UNCSA’s four performance spaces- the Stevens Center, Watson Hall, and Crawford Hall.

Crawford Hall is UNCSA’s largest and oldest on-campus performance hall, making it the only on-campus venue suitable for orchestral performances, and it is also the only hall equipped for organ performances.  In Crawford Hall, we recorded a French horn player performing a Mozart Horn Concerto with piano, and a viola player performing the Walton Viola Concerto without piano.

Watson Hall is the newest concert hall on campus; it was built over a two-year period between December 2001 and October 2003.  The interior of this hall was built in the shape of a violin, giving it the same acoustical properties as a violin.  It also has a movable acoustical curtain, which allows the performers to adjust the hall’s acoustical properties as they see fit.  In Watson Hall, we recorded a violin player tuning.

The Stevens Center is the primary performance space at UNCSA.  The Stevens Center was a silent film theatre before it was renovated by UNCSA in 1983.  It was designed in the neoclassical style and has 1364 seats, making it the largest of any performance space at UNCSA.  It consists of two levels and contains an orchestra pit, allowing the orchestra to collaborate with vocalists for operas and with the ballet department for ballets.  The UNCSA Symphony Orchestra and the UNCSA Wind Ensemble are the school’s primary large ensembles, and they both have annual performances at the Stevens Center along with other ensembles.  During the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra’s first concert at the Stevens Center this year, we recorded the orchestra tuning and beginning to play.