GRCC’s Renovated Music Center Benefits Students & Audiences


Audiences will benefit as much as students from Grand Rapids Community College’s renovated Albert P. Smith Music Center, according to Kevin Dobreff, director of Grand Rapids Community College’s music program.

“Our renovated space makes it much easier to connect with the public and it never fails to elicit a positive response from visitors,” Dobreff said.

Specifically, the music center received a new recital hall, which will be named for mezzo-soprano Linn Maxwell Keller in October, as part of the upgrades.

GRCC host’s concerts throughout the school year, many of which take place in the recital hall and are open to the public. This year’s performance season begins on Sunday, Sept. 17 with the Music Department Faculty Recital. Recital hall concerts conclude on Tuesday, April 17 with the Student Composers Forum Concert.

The public is invited to come see the new recital hall along with the other renovations to the facility during an open house from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8.

The renovated music center will also support increased enrollment. Dobreff said the music department is seeing a small increase in enrollment in its music programs.

“We are seeing a small increase in music enrollment, which I would attribute to our music faculty’s emphasis on recruitment since moving back into the Albert P. Smith Music Center,” he said.

Mike Vargo, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at GRCC, said he expects the renovated music center to attract more enrollees.

“As Kevin indicated, there has been a small increase in student enrollment in programs housed in the Music Building – a trend we expect to expand with the impressive new facilities.”

Specifically, he said there were 149 students in music programs last fall and 151 this fall.

Besides the recital hall, renovations included: new classrooms, new informal gathering spaces, private teaching studios, instrument and music storage, and new acoustic and sound-reduction measures for teaching, rehearsal and
practice areas.

“The renovated facility will definitely enhance teaching and learning in our department because students will be working in a professional environment that was designed for the art of making music,” Dobreff said. “The creation of the musical art requires a finely tuned acoustic and the ability to control sound contamination.”

To find out about upcoming performances visit GRCC Music Center.

*Photos courtesy of GRCC

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