Scheduled to be completed in 18 to 24 months, the construction process for a new music building that will replace Graves Hall is currently underway. A spacious 30,000-square-foot facility with a 250-seat performance hall and ensemble rooms, the new music building will be located on Phillips Street alongside the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archeology, and will become Andover’s new cultural corridor. Unlike Graves, originally a science building, the building will be constructed strictly for music, allowing an enhanced space for students to pursue their musical dreams.
“I think [the new building] will be so inspiring for students. One of the amazing things about Andover is that music class is a graduation requirement…. My hope is that even if someone is coming to Andover with very little music background, they would get into that [Music 225] class and be exposed to this amazing technology and these amazing spaces, and then they would want to somehow keep music going in their life at Andover,” said Abbey Siegfried, Chair in Music.
The modern, technologically enhanced spaces offered in the building, including the recording studio and percussion studio, will foster new opportunities for creativity and encourage more students to become involved in music. Moreover, the addition of acoustically improved practice rooms will be an immense improvement from the practice rooms in the basement of Graves and will allow more one-on-one music lessons for students.
“[The new building] is definitely going to provide us with a lot more opportunities because with new concert halls, we’ll just have a stronger music department in general. People are going to be more attracted to the school with the new music building, so it will just strengthen us…. It’s just beneficial to us and the people in the music community as well,” said violinist Patricia Tran ’24.
Not only will the new building include new technologies, but it will also include larger community spaces. For example, the center of the building is a two story court that will allow students to socialize and study. Karen Wang ’24, another musician, expressed optimism for these spaces, noting that they would be a step up from the small communal spaces in Graves.
“I think [I’d like] more space and maybe a more designated hang out area where you can do work, as another student study area. I know in Graves, there’s a little place downstairs, and there’s also the music library, but it’s small. It’s pretty cramped in there, so having a much more open field to do homework in would be cool,” said Wang.
Throughout its history at Andover, Graves has held a variety of purposes. Initially a chemistry building, it later became the music building. However, once the new music building is constructed, Graves will be repurposed as an administrative building. Despite the several improvements that the new building will have to offer, the history and memories formed at Graves will remain unique to the building.
“Everybody says they don’t like Graves, but if you walk into Graves on a Friday night, people are just hanging out in there, just playing music for fun for each other or just chilling in one of the practice rooms. So it is kind of old but it’s still a good building. I’ll definitely miss the nice, cozy environment.” said Tran.
Siegfried echoed this nostalgia towards her years working in Graves. She expressed that though Graves will no longer serve as a musical facility, its presence will continue to resonate with the community.
“You see the wood carvings and just the sense that students have been here for hundreds of years. But when we shift to this new building, there will be students in there for hundreds of years too. I like the fact that this will still be here; it’s not being knocked down or anything, it’s just entering its new phase of existence at Andover,” said Siegfried.
Editor’s Note: Patricia Tran ’24 is an Associate Sports Editor and Karen Wang ’24 is an Associate Video Editor for The Phillipian.