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$3 million expansion to Mason Hall is latest addition to campus
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

rehearsal room
Dr. Paula Holcomb, Director of Bands, leads the SUNY Fredonia Wind Ensemble in a rehearsal at Tuesday morning’s dedication of the new Robert and Marilyn Maytum Rehearsal Rooms within in the university’s School of Music. The $3 million addition gives student performing ensembles two to three times more room in custom-designed, acoustically engineered spaces that ensure better sound quality and safety for students whose numbers have significantly grown in recent years. Click photo for enlargement.

Maytum family
Robert (back row, under plaque) and Marilyn (front, center) Maytum are joined by their children, grandchildren and other family members at the dedication of the new rehearsal rooms in Mason Hall which now bear their name. The Maytums have recently established a new endowment which will generate scholarships for the School of Music and ensure that SUNY Fredonia can assist deserving students in achieving their educational photo for enlargement.

Campus and regional officials gathered today with dozens of students and faculty from the SUNY Fredonia School of Music to usher in the latest addition on campus: the Robert and Marilyn Maytum Music Rehearsal Halls.

The $3 million expansion to the north end of Mason Hall includes two rooms which are two to three times the size of any existing rehearsal space in Mason. They were designed and built specifically to accommodate large band and orchestral groups which have grown to as many as 120 members.

An official dedication ceremony was held Tuesday morning to commemorate the event. Among those in attendance included Assemblymen William Parment (150th District) and Joseph Giglio (149th District), and Robert and Marilyn Maytum, the new halls’ namesakes and a couple known for their considerable business and philanthropic efforts throughout the region.

“It is wonderful to welcome such a beautiful and highly functional space to our campus,” SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner remarked. “These new facilities give our students unprecedented resources from which they will learn and develop into high-quality musicians. These rooms will also allow our faculty even greater flexibility and creativity as they approach their instructional roles.”

The new halls are comprised of a 60 by 66-foot space and a 53 by 62-foot space. They not only meet modern-day occupancy codes, but special engineering was also implemented to address sound volume and quality issues, to ensure hearing safety for students and faculty, as well as musical authenticity.

“Our School of Music has grown enrollment considerably in the last decade,” Dr. Hefner added. “We needed to make sure our ensembles had space large enough to not only contain their numbers, but just as importantly, do so in a manner that ensured the safety of the students and the quality of the instruction they receive.”

The Maytum family has been staunch supporters of SUNY Fredonia for decades. This is most evident on campus in the form of Maytum Hall – the tallest building in Chautauqua County – which historically houses most of the university’s administration functions. This latest project, however, had special meaning to Mr. and Mrs. Maytum, in particular.

“My mother was always very fond of music and a strong supporter of the Hillman Opera from its early beginnings, so the School of Music has always held a special place for us,” said Robert Maytum. “SUNY Fredonia has one of the best music schools in the country, and we wanted to support it and continue our family’s tradition of providing scholarships and other forms of financial assistance, which help the university in attracting top-notch students to Fredonia.”

Designer/architect Foit-Albert Associates and SLR Contracting & Service Co., Inc., both of Buffalo, N.Y., were joined by acoustical consultant AVL Designs, Inc., of Penfield, N.Y., as the construction team, guided by the SUNY Fredonia Facilities Planning Department.

The addition will also serve as an enabling project to the upcoming planned addition to the campus’ Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center, providing “surge space” for rehearsals for the Department of Theatre and Dance, as necessary.

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