SHERIDAN — The Colorado Symphony will perform Thursday at the Whitney Center for the Arts, giving not only a chance for the symphony to present its skill but also the college an opportunity to show off its world class recital hall.
“There’s no symphony their caliber otherwise, within driving distance certainly, in this area,” WCA director Erin Hanke said. “So they’re really one of the top symphonies in the country and (it’s) certainly a great opportunity to have them so close to our home.”
Hanke said while the concert hall is able to host electronic instruments and a variety of shows, it was really built to support and help build Sheridan College’s department of music.
SC music department faculty member Mark Bergman said when the college designed the new wing of the campus it hired a crew to create an acoustic environment that was ideal for music — an environment with the right blend of wet and dry sound.
“You want the sound to be warm and reverberant but you don’t want it too warm and reverberant,” Bergman said.
“If it’s too echoey, it sounds like you’re sitting in your bathtub, and if it’s too dry then there’s no warmth to the sound. The acousticians who design these halls don’t always get it right and in this case they really did.”
The WCA has acoustic banners that shift sound throughout the hall, amplifying it without the need of anything electric.
Bergman said the show Thursday is an opportunity to hear a world-class orchestra in a world-class recital hall, an opportunity that rarely occurs outside of a metropolitan area.
“When you hear the variety of timbres that the orchestra uses to express themselves, you’ll have a chance to hear all the wonderful subtleties that are brought out by performing that music in a really, really fine acoustic environment,” Bergman said.
Members of the symphony will be working with SC students while the orchestra is in town, Hanke said. She said college representatives ask all performers and visual artists who come to WCA to spend time with students, whether it’s during a master class, workshop, artist talk or an outreach.
This is the second show the Colorado Symphony will play in Sheridan. Hanke said the orchestra came to the college last year and after returning home, contacted her to ask if they could return.
“We certainly are glad to have them back, but they really kind of showed the initiative,” Hanke said. “…They fell in love with Sheridan, as most, especially artistic types, do when they visit.”
The symphony has opened up further opportunities for WCA to host other musicians. Hanke said members of the symphony spread the word to other musical groups they play with, causing others to seek the space.
“So absolutely, the word has spread really quickly and has promoted not just our space but the college and Sheridan in general,” Hanke said.
The concert Thursday will give Sheridan residents a chance to not just hear the music through speakers or headphones, but to experience it.
“It’s really a revelatory experience,” Bergman said. “And the difference is something you can’t explain unless you’ve experienced it for yourself.”