Auditorium Renovations Enrich Music at Asbury
WILMORE, Ky. — Since 1962, Asbury University’s Akers Auditorium has been the home of countless musical performances, playing a key role both in music education and in the vibrant musical culture on Asbury’s campus. Now, the auditorium’s legacy is being preserved through an extensive renovation of the recital hall.
Made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Eda Jameson, a longtime friend of the University who passed away in 2012, the renovation will significantly enhance musical performances on campus. As part of Akers Auditorium, the new Jameson Recital Hall will feature updated seating and lighting, expanded stage space, wheelchair-accessible seating and stage accessibility, acoustic paneling, a new, performance-friendly HVAC system and more.
The renovation reflects Jameson’s passion for music and dedication to Asbury. An acclaimed pianist, Jameson first visited campus in 1984 and traveled from California to Kentucky annually for 25 years to perform for students in a variety of venues on Asbury’s campus. In 2007, she said, “Asbury has become a big part of my life, and I have felt really close to it and to the work that is being done here.”
“During her long friendship with Asbury, Eda Jameson made many great contributions to our campus music culture, and this renovation continues that legacy,” said Dr. Mark Troyer, vice president for Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships at Asbury. “Mrs. Jameson’s estate gift is a remarkable example of stewardship, blessing Asbury students with a facility that will enrich campus musical performances for years to come.”
As part of the renovation, the recital hall organ has been donated to Heritage Church in Centerville, Tenn., in order to allow greater stage space for Music Department programming. Asbury organ students will continue to use other outstanding pipe organs on campus and in Wilmore, and, in its new home, the Akers organ will make beautiful music to the glory of God.
“Asbury’s musical worldview is finding harmony with ours — it’s to the glory of God,” said Marion Lovett, pastor at Heritage Church. “This was very timely for us. We are right in the middle of a sanctuary project, and we’ve been able to work with our architect to design this particular organ into our new sanctuary.”
Dr. Mark Schell, chair of Asbury’s Music Department, says that by enhancing educational opportunities, the renovation will add value regarding the Music Department’s accreditation (Asbury is one of only two private schools in Kentucky with a nationally accredited music program). It will also enhance the hall as a performance venue, benefitting performers and audience members alike.
“Jameson Recital Hall will be a beautiful aesthetic space dedicated to the production of quality music concerts of all types for the entire community,” Schell said. “The variable acoustic environment will allow for the audience to appreciate a wide range of programming — everything from the intimate sounds of a solo vocalist or violinist to the full sound of a concert band or orchestra; from the amplified sounds of a Broadway musical to the natural sounds of an opera. Jameson Recital Hall will quickly become a place where the Asbury community longs to gather together often.”
To learn more about Asbury’s Music Department, visit: asbury.edu/Music.