Arriving on campus, students may have noticed that the Hoffberger Science building has fully reopened this
semester without fanfare. The building now has a handicap accessible ramp, new carpeting, and a lounge area near the main entrance. While campus-wide reaction to the change has been minimal, the music department is excited about the renovation and their new location inside the building.
“We’re all ecstatic,” said Kitty Gratz, the program coordinator for the music department. “We’re getting equipment that we need, the software that we need, the space.”
The space, which was previously a mix of classrooms, labs and faculty, is now a mix of personal offices, a part-time faculty office, a supply room, a new classroom with a Smartboard projector, a new lounge area for students and faculty, and the program coordinator’s office. The space is also equipped with a new keyboard lab, including fully-loaded Apple computers, and 88-keyed electric pianos.
“[When] the music department had the option of moving in, we worked with Linda [Barone, Goucher’s project manager of facilities] … to kind of figure out what the best use of the space would be,” Gratz said. The department made the area the music program’s center, a welcome change compared to past days during which Goucher’s music classes were scattered across campus. Classes took place everywhere from the very top floor of the Athenaeum, to the psychology annex and the hidden hallways of Kraushaar.
The renovation and move created much needed offices, including permanent offices for teachers who previously utilized whichever office was open to them at any given time.
“Now we have an office for part-time or adjunct faculty to share,” Gratz said. “Joanna Greenwood now has an office. That was greatly needed.”
Associate Professor Kendall Kennison is one of the professors who have been moved from the basement of Kraushaar to Hoffberger. “Coming into my office, I have the door open almost all day, which wasn’t possible before. … I feel like a normal faculty member.” Kennison also feels the move has had an effect on the entire music department:“The move makes us feel more professional, more together. It’s amazing what that does for your mindset.”
The old spaces that were in both Kraushaar and the psychology annex have also been affected by the change. Kraushaar’s lesson spaces are better organized to reduce the need of compromising for sound, and there is now a new music library. The music classroom in the psychology annex is now an ensemble space and drum studio.
As expected, the department is currently in a stage of transition. The spring is always very busy for the music department with student recitals and original pieces being performed, students graduating, and juries. In this time, though, optimism and enthusiasm in the music department is high, due, in part, to the department’s increased space.