Music students at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) got an extra bonus when they returned to campus for the spring semester – a redesigned and refurbished Marvin Laser Recital Hall. The project of turning the campus’s original music venue into a state-of-the-art performance space has been the works for more than 18 months, and everyone involved is excited and proud of the results.
As Music Department Chair Scott Morris says, “We finally have a space that represents what we’re doing here. We’re doing high-quality work, and now we have a high-quality hall.”
Named after the founding dean of what is now the College of Arts and Humanities, the facility was in disrepair after four decades of extensive use as a concert hall and classroom. With the new renovations, Morris believes the hall “is going to be one of the nicest college recital halls in the CSU system.”
The Music Department Honors Recital will take place at Marvin Laser Recital Hall on Thursday, January 31, at 7:30 pm. Other upcoming events include a CSU Summer Arts presentation on Monday, Jan. 28, and a Brazilian jazz performance by the Angelo Metz Quartet on Tuesday, March 19. For information about the Laser Recital Hall schedule, visit the Music Department Events Calendar here.
The improvements to the space are wide-ranging and comprehensive, from acoustics and lighting to audience seating and backstage provisions. The addition of electronically controlled sound baffles ensures the new space sounds spectacular whether students are performing “unplugged” acoustical or amplified instruments. “You can now tune the room to whatever you want to do in there,” says Morris.
Morris is especially excited about the effect the new performance space will have on the students who use it. “It’s a total morale boost,” he says. “When you’re in a beautiful space with great acoustics, you play better. The artists are inspired when they’re in there…it elevates the performance and elevates the experience of the listeners, too.”
Poor lighting was always a problem with the old space, but that’s also a thing of the past. Instead of the harsh “flood lights” of the previous hall, proper white stage lights illuminate the stage, while modern LED accent lighting rings the entire space.
Adding to the performance experience is a new raised stage and plush seating. Musicians will also benefit from the addition of a backstage area, and during performances, sound technicians now have a control booth with full sound reinforcement and a window that looks onto the stage.
“It will be a totally different experience for everyone who visits, whether they’re sitting on stage or sitting in the audience,” says Morris.
The Marvin Laser Recital Hall is located on the first floor of LaCorte Hall, in room A103.