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Music Department Hosts Dedication Show for the New Brooks Concert Hall

Staff Writer

Published: Sunday, February 9, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 9, 2014 15:02

   On January 30, the Music Department hosted the reopening of our beloved Brooks Concert Hall. The hall was filled to the brim with waves upon waves of eager attendees hoping to see the newly renovated hall and hear performances from multiple talented musicians. The hall features a wooden floor in the center of the room, surrounded by four rows of seats on three of its sides. In the center of the floor sits an elegant grand piano. The entire space has an almost majestic quality to it, enhanced by the tall stained-glass windows and gothic-style arches that extend up into the ceiling. The renovations also improved the hall’s acoustics, making it all the more ideal for performances and concerts. As a college invested in “cura personalis,” the renovations speak volumes about the fundamental, aesthetic importance of art and music in educating the mind, body, and spirit.

   Fr. Boroughs made the introductory remarks, welcoming everyone to the event and extending the college’s great appreciation to the class of 1953, whose donation of $504,856 funded the renovations. At the class’s 60-year reunion in 2013, the gift committee decided that their reunion gift would go towards the project, as a dedication to and in memory of Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J.,  former President of the College.  Fr. Brooks was a member of the class of 1949 and played a crucial role in broadening cultural and musical opportunities at Holy Cross. His legacy continues to impact the Holy Cross community through the renowned Brooks Music Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a high school senior who demonstrates superb musical and academic achievements. The class of 1953’s donation warranted a memorial plaque in the class’ name that is displayed outside the concert hall. To celebrate the hall’s completion, Father Boroughs’
speech was followed by twenty performances by faculty, alumni, current students, and guest artists.

   Performances included the Holy Cross Chamber Singers, directed and conducted by David Harris, and the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra, directed and conducted by Eric Culver. Of the individual performers, seven were current students. Melody Wauke, class of 2017 and a violinist in the chamber orchestra, said she was “thrilled to be playing in the beautiful new concert hall,” and “looks forward to performing there in the future.” For both performers and audience members alike, the concert hall is a wonderful place to express musical abilities, enjoy the talents of fellow classmates, and gain exposure to the music of exciting new artists.

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