In the Loop
General News : Oct 27, 2015

Music in the making, thanks to new practice rooms

By Chelsea Mattson

UF School of Music students are now able to rehearse in 11 state-of-the-art practice rooms developed by the Wenger Corporation, a company known for its sound-isolation technology. The School of Music installed these new rehearsal spaces thanks to numerous generous monetary gifts donated as part of the College of the Arts’ Make the Music campaign.

Make the Music is a multi-year initiative addressing the ongoing need for high quality practice spaces within the School of Music. The school has existing practice rooms on the third floor and has retrofitted the Music Library on the second floor to include one large module for the Percussion Studio, three smaller percussion rooms, four piano rooms, two general rooms and one jazz percussion room. The Make the Music initiative is in phase three, with an additional $400,000 to raise to complete the overall rehearsal lab complex.

Earlier this semester, two of the new modules were named in honor of Stewart White and Cherie Fine. White, originally from the Gainesville area, frequented the UF Music library as a student and continues to attend UF Wind Symphony and Orchestra concerts. 

“I was a history and music theory major as an undergrad, and I know how important it is to have a silent place to work,” White says. “A young musician needs a cocoon. I don’t know if people understand that.”

Fine is a resident of Gainesville and president of UF’s Friends of Music group, which supports UF School of Music students, faculty and programs. She comes from a family of Gators. Her grandfather, son and daughter all studied music at UF, and her husband attended law school at UF. Fine also attended law school at UF after earning an undergraduate degree in art. Her son, Stephen Fine, is currently an adjunct lecturer in the Viola Studio.

“I love music,” Fine says. “Training musicians makes the world a better place – it creates well-rounded, creative, interesting people.” 

This is the beginning of the improvements happening in the Music Building. Trent Weller, facilities manager, says the school has plans to install more practice rooms in the future. The goal is to retrofit the entire area that is currently the study room on the second floor with rooms that students can have 24/7 access to. The new spaces will allow students a quiet, clean, space to practice without fear of disturbing those around them, or of others distracting them.

“Our facilities need improvement, and adding new practice spaces helps,” Weller says. “Supporting the UF School of Music makes UF a better place, Gainesville a better place and the world a better place.”

Help Make the Music

If you are interested in contributing to the College of the Arts’ Make the Music campaign, click here