The recently-named James M. "Jimmy" Simmons Music Building underwent a $7,500,000 total renovation beginning in 2008 and was completed in the spring of 2011. The new building contains a recital hall, a rehearsal hall, three classrooms, piano laboratory, computer laboratory, recording studio and recording booth, twenty faculty studios, and sixteen sound-absorbing music practice rooms, as well as a departmental administrative suite, a workroom, and band, orchestra, and choir library facilities.
Rothwell Recital Hall
The Rothwell Recital Hall now has improved acoustics, designed by expert acousticians, which provides a superb venue for faculty and student recitals. With 121 in built-in seats, the hall allows for approximately 80 moveable seats to accommodate choral rehearsals on a stair-stepped design. Fully integrated audio-video components offer three different video and screen combinations for greater flexibility in using the hall as a classroom or as a performance venue.
Charles A. “Pete” Wiley Rehearsal Hall
Wiley Rehearsal Hall, named for one of Lamar’s long-time director of bands, is the rehearsal venue for all our instrumental ensembles, as well as a classroom. The hall also offers audio-visual support with one video and screen combination, an adjacent instrument storage room, and in-room storage for percussion and marching band equipment.
The piano lab, used in a collaborative piano setting for class piano, offers the best in Yamaha, Clavinova, and Roland electric pianos, with weighted keys, for an experience closer to playing a studio piano. The lab contains 13 pianos, offering small-to-medium sized classes with integrated headphones for the players and the instructor.
The computer laboratory contains 16 work stations, plus a teacher station, with the latest in Apple iMac computers. The lab is primarily used for the Computers in Music course (Finale, Sibelius, Garage Band, etc.) in addition to being open daily for personal student use on music-related projects.
The recording facility provides a state-of-the-art multi-track environment for ensembles of any size and the capability to record audio from either Rothwell Recital Hall or Wiley Rehearsal Hall. Designed by the late Dr. J. Wayne Dyess, in conjunction with Dr. Nick Rissman, the booth equipment is used by composition students as well. The attached studio provides a sound-proof environment for smaller recording needs.
Three classrooms in the building offer intimate spaces for major and non-major music classes. Each classroom has audio and video capabilities built in.
All faculty studios and practice rooms were constructed with special sound-proofing methods, as well as in-room acoustical panels specifically catered to each individual studio.