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Duquesne Unveils Cutting-Edge Performance, Recording and Rehearsal Space

Music students at Duquesne will soon enjoy the benefits of the new Dr. Thomas D. Pappert Center for Performance and Innovation. Housed in the Mary Pappert School of Music, the new center provides a cutting-edge and acoustically ideal space for performance, recording and rehearsal purposes.

“The engineers and other professionals who have seen it, their jaws drop. They say it’s wonderful,” said Music Dean Edward Kocher about the Center, which is comprised of more than 5,000 square feet. “As far as we can tell, the Pappert Center will be the most advanced and fully equipped large space of its kind in the city. Creating a ‘one-stop shop’ like this on campus has been a lifelong dream for our performance and music technology folks.”

Construction began in the spring for the space, which had previously served as a classroom, rehearsal hall and makeshift performance venue during the past 50 years.

The Pappert Center features acoustic panels hanging from the ceiling and sound diffusers lining the walls. Curved panel closet doors serve to further enhance room acoustics and carefully chosen sound control materials block outside noise. These measures ensure that musicians and audiences can enjoy the highest levels of sound clarity.

In addition, the center has theatrical lighting and a state-of-the-art audiovisual system, which includes a 16-foot video projection screen and surround-sound audio, and the capacity for flexible seating for up to 150.

The venue’s mastering suite is acoustically enhanced and isolated from extraneous sound, making it the perfect space for critical listening and post-production recording work. These rooms will have audio and video feeds from the Pappert Center and a full range of mixing and mastering equipment, making it possible to create professional-quality recordings, which previously had to be completed at off-campus facilities.

The Pappert Center even includes a Greenroom for waiting performers.

“I have been teaching music full-time since 1972,” said Kocher, who is in his 11th year at Duquesne. “In terms of any sort of facilities or physical space, the Pappert Center for Performance and Innovation is really the highlight of my musical life. It’s wonderful.”

The new venue will debut with a reception and jazz concert, One More Time for Nick, which benefits the Nicholas Jordanoff Trumpet Scholarship, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, during Homecoming Weekend.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.