Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center
The Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Arts Center brings all the visual and performing arts programs at American University into one 130,000 square foot space. Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, the new center provides state-of-the-art instructional, exhibition, and performance space. The facilities in the Katzen Arts Center used by the Audio Technology Program consist of the Abramson Recital Hall, the Studio Theater, and two shared classrooms, Katzen 135 and Katzen 210.
The Abramson Family Recital Hall provides a second concert venue. As with the Greenberg Theatre, students in audio technology assist in the operation and maintenance of this facility. The control room contains a Pro Tools system, a Soundcraft mixing console, and other outboard digital signal processors. The hall is equipped with an automated microphone, video projection, and lighting systems. The opening event in the hall was a concert featuring the music of composers from the music, multimedia, and audio technology programs.
The studio theater provides a black box configuration for students to set up lighting sets, and audio and experiment with production techniques. Current projects utilizing the studio theater include the recording of dramatic monologues by theater students for the inclusion on portfolio DVDs made by audio technology students.
The computer classrooms in the Katzen Arts Center provide interactive and hands on learning experiences for the students. In previous classes, teachers in audio technology had to design the curriculum with class discussions that consisted almost entirely of passive learning experiences. The new classrooms in the Katzen Arts Center provide active learning experiences for students at all levels in the program. The two classrooms used by audio technology are Katzen 135 and Katzen 210.
Katzen 135 contains eighteen iMac workstations, with M-Boxes and keyboard controllers. Each station also has software such as Pro Tools and several plug-ins, as well as music software such as Sibelius and Finale. The typical lecture style configuration lends itself to classes that require more of a lecture/demonstration approach, such as the introductory class, Fundamentals of Audio Technology, and its related lab course.
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