Western would benefit from performance space

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Music needs hall, not bathroom stall”
Sept. 12, 2007

To the editor:
[Last week’s] coverage of the lack of performance space at Western was most welcome, and highlights a basic difference between music and other subjects. While a prospective English or biology student wouldn’t be able to judge the quality of research produced by our university, any musician can judge the quality of our faculty’s performances. Because our performance spaces are grossly unflattering to any musical ensemble, a myth has persisted that Western is only worthwhile as a school to study musical education; prospective performers should look elsewhere. And because the musical community is so closely knit, such myths spread quickly and are almost impossible to extinguish.

A proper concert facility would be expensive, but the one-time cost of building a hall would repay itself quickly. Beside the eventual gains in increased student enrolment and concert attendance, the university stands to make a substantial profit by renting the facility out to community groups. The basic issue here, however, is that as long our performance facilities make our highest-quality ensembles sound flabby and amateur, Western will continue to have an undeserved reputation as a second-tier music school " a reputation which ultimately reflects badly on all of us.
"Aaron James
Music III

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