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St.OlafCollege is a small, private Lutheran college with, among other programs, a lively, well-respected music program of which I have first-hand knowledge. It is a school where one-third of the 3,100 students are involved in at least one music ensemble. The problem is that the campus does not have an adequate performance space for the numerous quality musical events that happen on campus throughout the year. My project will attempt to solve this problem by providing a concert hall for this campus where music is such an important part of the school's identity and the daily campus fabric.
Since I was a student at this school, I have a unique, first-hand understanding of the campus's personality, the makeup of the student body, the quality of the music, the existing architecture of the campus, and the values most important to the College. The intended users of the building will be the students and faculty of St.Olaf, residents of the town of Northfield, visiting groups and performers, and potential students. In addition to daily individual, studio, and chamber recitals, ensemble performances, master classes, and dress rehearsals, the building would probably also be used for assemblies and guest speakers when a large seating capacity is required. Based on the occupancy of the existing places of performance on campus, the seating capacity of the main hall would be 7S0-1,000 persons.
Inspired by the belief that music is a divine gift, the music department at St. Olaf devotes itself to the cultivation of this gift in the lives of its students and in the larger community. The program is dedicated to creating an educational experience that blends the artistic standards of a professional program with the intellectual thoroughness and academic scope of the liberal arts in an environment of free, creative, and critical inquiry. Through music, the College's mission to foster the development of the whole person in mind, body, and spirit is affirmed. This building will enhance this by attempting to promote a spirit of exploration and innovation, seeking and celebrating the transcendent, transforming, and unifying power of music.