The teaching facilities of the School of Music are located in Gray Building and in the new School of Music Complex. Spaces include the Judy and Bill Watson Chamber Music Hall, Crawford Hall, Hood Recital Hall, studios, practice rooms, offices, rehearsal rooms and classrooms, as well as piano laboratories for classroom instruction. The school occupies the first floor of the Gray Building in its entirety and a large portion of the second floor, which houses specially constructed teaching studios.
The School of Music Complex, designed by Calloway, Johnson, Moore & West of Winston-Salem, features a 300-seat chamber music/recital hall which houses two Hamburg Steinway concert grand pianos and a D. Jacque Way French double-manual harpsichord, and state-of-the-art lighting, electronic and sound equipment. Watson Chamber Music Hall was designed by renowned acoustician Rein Pirn, whose credits include Spivey Hall in Atlanta. A lobby, box office, green room and dressing rooms complement the hall.
Programmatic requirements for this 36,000-square-foot building – a performance space for chamber music, large and small rehearsal/teaching halls, office space for music school faculty, dressing rooms, and support spaces for the performance areas and rehearsal hall ‒ are functionally divided between performance and teaching space and must operate independently. The solution was to take advantage of this functional division, using the arranged volume of the rehearsal halls to balance the large mass of the performance hall. The volumes connect in a generously proportional vestibule that acts as a beacon, marking the main entry to the building and the festivities inside.
The academic wing houses administrative offices for the School of Music and includes teaching studios, a conference room, an orchestral rehearsal room, and an opera/choral rehearsal room.
Funding for the complex came from the $42.5 million higher education bonds, passed by North Carolina voters in the fall of 2000.
The circular geometry of the building is derived from the topography of the site and its interaction with an important node outlined in the campus master plan – the newly defined Performance Plaza. The front façade of the music complex follows the gentle sweeping curve of the existing path in layers of interactive forms that lead from Hanes Student Commons to the circular plaza. The axis of the main performance space in the complexl is on an axis derived from the center point of the plaza and the center point of the sweeping façade curve. These geometries come into play throughput the building, tracing echoes in plan, elevation, and ceiling forms.
The warm and intimate scale of the structure and the spatial elements in the 300-seat Recital Hall were derived from the violin. The pilasters and sloping wood columns are reminiscent of the neck and strings of the instrument and act as vertical connections to tie the lower wood body and upper planes of the hall. The curved ceilings respond to the need to disperse sound reflections as well as the desire to create a soft surface plane for the space. The finishes, in color and textures of wood, evoke the warmth of the instrument itself to be heard, touched and felt.
Exterior materials are a combination of brick, pre-cast concrete and pre-finished aluminum panels. Accent brick, both laid at the base of the building and formed into curved walls that penetrate the roof, marks the entrances to major spaces. Field brick visually ties the building into the rest of the campus, while the front brick wall and arcade give the building a more pedestrian scale along the grand curve of the façade. Accents and changes in exterior materials define the building’s scale and mark its focal points.
General Contractor: John S. Clark Inc. of Mt. Airy, N.C.
The Stevens Center, located in downtown Winston-Salem, serves as a major performance center for the School of Music. This historic 1,380-seat theatre features a Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, state-of-the-art stage, electronic and sound equipment; rehearsal and warm-up rooms; dressing rooms; and sound, light and projection booths.
Crawford Hall is the oldest performance venue on the UNC School of the Arts campus and has the largest audience capacity, with 590 seats. It originally served as the Gray High School auditorium. Today Crawford Hall is one of the principle venues of the School of Music. Each Wednesday during the academic year the School of Music produces an hour long program of the finest student performers. The hall is also used for student recitals, master classes and workshops. Crawford Hall is also the only on-campus venue large enough to accommodate orchestral performances.
Crawford Hall houses the Sarah Graham Kenan Organ (designed specifically for Crawford Hall by Charles Fisk), a Dowd French double–manual harpsichord, a Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, and an American Steinway concert grand piano.
The Rodney E. Hood Recital Hall was renovated in 2009 into a 39-seat chamber music hall. The renovation design was by Corley Redfoot Zack, Inc. of Chapel Hill, N.C. The newly renovated hall houses a seven-foot Steinway grand piano and provides an intimate recital experience for solo recitals and chamber music.
The School of Music maintains two keyboard classrooms and a music technology studio. The keyboard classrooms were created in 2002 and 2009. Together the keyboard classrooms house 26 keyboards, two teacher-monitoring stations and two grand pianos. The main keyboard classroom also maintains six computer workstations with the latest aural skills and notation software programs.
At the center of the music technology studio is a quad-core Macintosh computer running the latest software including Avid ProTools, Mark of the Unicorn Digital Performer, Propellerhead Reason, and Sibelius. Students also use Cycling74 MaxMSP for creative programming beyond the scope of ProTools, Digital Performer and Reason. The music technology studio uses Mackie HR 824 active monitors and has a wide selection of microphones ( AKG 414C XLS, AKG C1000s, Audio Technica AT-4040, Beyer Dynamic M 130, Electro-Voice RE 20, Neuman TLM 102, Neve SE RNR1 and Røde NT5) for student recording projects.