The Acoustically-Perfect Carol Hall
By Lee Bash (retired)
When potentially new students first enter the instantly impressive Carol Hall in the Shaw Center, they only need to squint their eyes a bit to imagine performing their own senior recital on this stage in just a few short years. That image burns an impression in their minds that will often be their last thoughts before they go to sleep – seeing themselves in a setting that, at many larger schools and programs, is restricted to only a few graduate students or elite performers. At Graceland, the dream has always been to provide all students with unique experiences that help form strong foundations for the remainder of their lives. So, awake or asleep, many high school and transfer students are going to dream about the wonderful opportunities that the Graceland University Music Department offers them via this amazing and unique facility. This is, indeed, “the stuff that dreams are made of!”
But what, exactly, is it that makes Carol Hall so appealing to both our current students and future students seeking degrees in Music from Graceland? First of all, the room is magnificent! It is warm, appealing and intimate. To performers, it's having immediate and direct connections with their audience. You can make eye contact and interact more when an audience is limited to approximately 120 persons. This means the audience directly connects with the performer, whether small group, or soloist and his or her accompanist you miss in larger performance halls. The audience is able to hear and observe even the performer breathe, experiencing the performance in a way that provides insight and greater appreciation. Let's not forget the aethetics of the room. Carol Hall is the sort of small, intimate space that most artists dream of performing in, though few ever get the chance. This space inspires many amazing performances capable of surpassing the artists’ dreams.