MSU College Of Music Opens Cook Recital Hall

Oct 24, 2012

On Sunday, the Michigan State University College of Music lets the general public in on a huge project to improve the Music Building Auditorium.

Now known as the Cook Recital Hall in honor of benefactors Dee and Byron Cook, the performance space has been upgraded for both acoustics and comfort.

"We both love music, and honestly, there wasn't any other thing we could think of that we were both equally interested in." Byron Cook

Dee Cook and her husband Byron are the major benefactors of the new recital hall. The Cooks met at Michigan State; Byron was in the marching band, and Dee was already singing professionally. She later served as an MSU Trustee.

College of Music Dean Jim Forger says that before this project, you could hear activity from a rehearsal room, footsteps from an adjacent corridor and stairs, and, perhaps worst of all, noise from a nearby courtyard. Imagine having a concert disrupted by the sound of a motorcycle, or the beep-beep-beep of a truck in reverse.

Perhaps the biggest improvement is the addition of air conditioning.

"The acousticians recommended taking out the balcony, so it reduced the seating from 360 to 180. Every seat has great acoustics." MSU College of Music Dean Jim Forger

The first events in the hall that are open to the public are coming up on Sunday and Monday.

The Joanne and Bill Church West Circle Series kicks off with an All-American program. Jazz pianist Reggie Thomas, saxophonist Joseph Luloff, and pianist Deborah Moriarty will be joined by the Beaumont Brass and the Professors of Jazz.