The Bowling Green Western Symphony Orchestra grew from humble beginnings on the campus of Western Kentucky State Normal School – turned Western Kentucky State Teaching College – now Western Kentucky University.
Just like the university, the Bowling Green Western Symphony Orchestra, which now goes as The Symphony at WKU, has seen many changes. But one place hasn’t changed – until now: Van Meter Hall.
The symphony will end its 2009-10 regular season with a Season of Favorites Chorale Extravaganza tonight at First Baptist Church. It will then turn around Friday and give a one-hour preview to what people can expect to see and hear at Van Meter Hall, its permanent home for the 2010-11 season.
“While the Season of Favorites wraps up … we decided we needed to preview how good the symphony will sound at Van Meter,” said Jennifer Bryant, executive director of the symphony.
Renovations to Van Meter Hall started nearly two years ago, forcing many of the groups that used the space to find different venues to perform, including the symphony.
Van Meter – the first building built as part of WKU’s campus – hadn’t had a major renovation since 1911, WKU project manager Kerra Ogden said previously, and it was long overdue. Keeping as much of the traditional architecture intact as possible, the entire building was brought up to code.
New carpet has been laid, the acoustics have been upgraded, seating has been increased and rearranged to allow for optimal viewing, new restrooms have been built on the second floor and elevators have been installed for better accessibility.
“This is going to be an incredible experience for both the players and the audience,” Bryant said. “It’s just a beautiful facility.”
By Natalie Jordan, The Daily News