Northwest NEWS

February 26, 2001


Music discovery center to open at Benaroya Hall

by Deborah Stone
   Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center, a new learning arena designed for people of all ages and all levels of musical experience, is Seattle Symphony's final component of Benaroya Hall.
   Due to open in March 2001, Soundbridge's mission is to inspire and nurture an appreciation and love of symphonic music through active, hands- on exploration and creation. Innovative technologies and special programs will strive to increase involvement and awareness of the value of music and its role in history and culture.
   The 2,000 square-foot space, located on Second Avenue and Union Street in Benaroya Hall, will act as the center for all of the symphony's education and community programs.
   It will provide exhibit and workshop-performance space, allowing visitors, from young children to adults, opportunities to participate in music classes, workshops, storytelling sessions, lectures, demonstrations and discussion groups.
   Seattle Symphony Executive Director Deborah R. Card says, "Our longtime dream of establishing such a beautiful and inviting center is now a reality.
   "Soundbridge is a contemporary, fresh, consistently stimulating musical resource that will provide a welcoming path for the diverse population of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, spiraling to Seattle Symphony programs, professional arts community partners and the academic community."
   The design of the center emphasizes an intimate space where musicians can come together and help inspire others with varying levels of exposure to symphonic music.
   It will also serve as a resource hub for classroom teachers.
   Lehrman Cameron Studio of Seattle was chosen to create the design for Soundbridge and the company brought together a team of leading experts in the areas of music theory and technology to develop the concept.
   Interactive displays benefit from cutting-edge expertise, allowing visitors active involvement in symphonic music making, rather than observation of the process.
   Listening posts at each exhibit will provide excerpts of instruments played alone, as well as in small ensembles and finally in complete orchestras. A "listening bar" allows visitors to hear hundreds of symphonic recordings, including current offerings from the Seattle Symphony.
   Upcoming exhibit themes feature "Meet the Musicians" and "Symphonic Music Lives," which are planned to educate children and adults about composers, musical terms and music skill-building techniques.
   Soundbridge will be open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Mondays. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children.
   Annual memberships will be available at $20 for individuals, $40 for families and $50 for schools (classes within a school may come as frequently as desired within the year).
   For more information about Soundbridge, contact the Seattle Symphony at (206) 336-6600.