Music "Ode" Dues

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

September 12, 2007 Ed Cartoon

Western’s music program is one of the largest in Canada, and well respected for its quality. Yet many music students feel the performance facilities at Western are inadequate.

Western needs to reward an excellent program with adequate performance and rehearsal space. For music students, the acoustics a good rehearsal hall provides are as essential as properly equipped labs for science students or libraries for arts students.

A new performance space would be a boon to the development of Western’s many talented music students. It would also provide a venue for the many other talented Western students to expand and showcase their skills.

A new music hall could go a long way in helping connect Western to the greater London community.

Instead of driving to Toronto to perform to packed houses, music students could stay here and raise the profile of Western’s campus.

Recently, Western released its expansion plans. Up until 2017, there is no allotment for new recital facilities for music.

If music students are already concerned about the state of their practice and performance space, a lack of consideration for expansion in the next ten years is troubling.

Music is the smallest faculty at Western. It is easy to sweep aside its concerns in favour of programs reeling in large donations like Ivey or Schulich.

However, it is likely music grads don’t average the same lifetime earnings of doctors or MBAs. This means music alumni are less likely to be able to turn around and donate significantly to their alma mater.

Instead of an empty investment, a new performance hall is an excellent opportunity for Western to increase the donation power of music grads.

Top-flight facilities could ingratiate Western alumni and help ensure they become successful and wealthy alumni who are more likely to donate.

Hopefully, the music program is already actively seeking out alumni to help with donations.

If the music faculty isn’t receiving the support from alumni necessary to provide new facilities, then university administration needs to step in and keep this program one of the best in Canada.

There are options available to Western to help Music out.

New space is becoming available in the University Community Centre with the opening of the new Recreation Centre next year. As well, the flurry of building projects around campus proves the university is not shy about expansion.

Western is dedicated to the best ‘student’ experience, not the best business or medical student experience. How each faculty is treated when it comes to big monetary investments is an indication of how seriously Western administration takes their oath.

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