The state-of-the-art concert hall under construction in the Donna
and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts has received more
than $1 million in support from longtime Emory benefactor Cherry
Logan Emerson. Because of this generous contribution, the largest
performance space in the soon-to-be-complete Schwartz Center will
bear Emersons name.
A strong supporter of the arts and humanities, Emersons (38C,
39G) passion for music at Emory has been expressed in many
ways, ranging from active concert-going to the funding of a music
professorship. Emerson is a longstanding member of Emorys
Friends of Music and he recently endowed the Emory Chamber Music
Society of Atlantas annual Emerson Series as well as the Mary
L. Emerson Chair of Piano Studies. Cherry Logan Emerson Concert
Hall will open to the public Feb. 1, 2003 during the buildings
dedication ceremony, which also marks the start of the four-month-long
Schwartz Center Opening Festival.
For the arts at Emory this gift by Cherry is like an unforgettable
encore following a masterful performance, said Senior Associate
Dean Rosemary Magee, executive director of Emorys arts center
project and arts steering committee. We are so appreciative of his
enthusiasm and generosity. It is especially fitting to name this
hall after him, since we know he and his wife Mary will attend our
concerts every chance they get.
Emerson, whose interest in the arts dates to his childhood, is
a third-generation scientist credited with numerous patents and
products developed principally by Emerson and Cumming, the chemical
engineering firm he co-founded and operated for 35 years.
Emersons generosity toward Emory does not stop with the arts.
He has also supported a science professorship, science lecture series
and the establishment of a scientific computational center here.
The university golf team has also benefited from his generosity.
A year ago, Emory honored Emerson by naming its new science building
Cherrys commitment to his two lifelong passions, art
and science, is a model for Emory students. Our most popular double
major happens to be chemistry and music, Magee said.
Emerson Concert Hall, the largest performance space in the Schwartz
Center, will be home to more than a dozen Department of Music ensembles
for students and three resident professional ensembles. It also
will be the primary venue for Emorys major annual music series,
including the Candler Classical Series, Journeys (non-Western music),
SoundScapes (contemporary music), Jazz Fest (three-day festival
each February), and Faculty Recital.
The halls design and its acoustical elements are intended
to make performance sound quality as perfect as possible. Its stage
can seat a 100-member symphony and its choral balcony can expand
with risers for a 190-member chorus. Its classic, shoebox design
has proven most effective for instrumental as well as choral music.
The 64-by-146-foot hall stands 60 feet tall and has seating for
up to 825 guests.
The shape of the multifaceted stucco and concrete wall and ceiling
panels, based on contemporary acoustic theory, forces correct absorption
and deflection of sound waves. The walls range from 12 inches to
more than 36 inches thick in order to meet acoustic needs. Fifty-six
concrete panels make up the 1.3 million-pound ceiling.
Hanging banners and toasters, which are the fixed panels
protruding from the grooves in the ceiling, can be adjusted to provide
appropriate acoustics for any level or type of performance. The
touch of a button enables the movement of the banners and toasters
thereby altering the acoustics depending on the concert.
The halls construction materials have undergone a variety
of tests and reviews. Double-paned glass windows, multiple layers
of plaster on most walls, an underground ventilation system and
air ducts lined with special insulation will buffer environmental
sounds. Unlike many halls, the base of the ceiling in Emerson Concert
Hall is lined with 30 windows, which makes for a bright and appealing
space for academic activities in daytime such as lectures and rehearsals.
The selection of the halls chairs, down to the fabric and
wood used, was determined by the materials ability to provide
the correct sound quality no matter what the audience size.
To preview the concert hall interior, visiting the Schwartz Center
website at www.schwartzcenter.emory.edu.