UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today announced that SUNY Potsdam will receive $3 million in capital funding to make improvements to its legendary Crane School of Music.
“The Crane School is home of the oldest music education program in the country, and its reputation is unparalleled among serious musical performers,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “The popularity of the programs offered has caused a need for space, so it’s important from both a safety and health standpoint for the university to meet student needs. I advocated for this funding in the Senate, and I’m pleased to be able to announce this award today.”
“We are most thankful to Senator Griffo for his continued support of SUNY Potsdam, in particular of our students. He has been a strong advocate for the college over the years, as we continue to partner to provide important outreach programs to all ages in our region,” SUNY Potsdam Interim President Dennis Hefner said.
The Crane Music Center has several rehearsal spaces, but its largest rooms range from 900 to 1,500 square feet in size. These areas were originally designed to accommodate 45 to 60 people and their equipment. However, the school’s biggest ensembles have grown to between 80 and 120 students.
This creates two issues: First, the National Association of Schools of Music reported after a recent visitation that the largest ensembles are producing a sound in these rooms that exceed nationally recommended guidelines for noise. Second, current building codes do not allow for accommodating such large groups in these spaces.
SUNY Potsdam intends to build an addition on the south side of Bishop Hall that would contain two large rehearsal spaces. These rooms will accommodate the bigger ensembles and provide more flexibility for performers, which will alleviate the need for constant setting up and tearing down of sets, risers and other equipment, while also addressing the very important health and safety issues of their performance students.