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MWSU Percussion Teams to Get New Practice Facility

Musicians currently practice is a modular building behind Potter Hall. The project is part of a $750,000 renovation project for three campus buildings.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Musicians at Missouri Western are about to get some more elbow room.

Construction of a new percussion practice facility is one of the new changes coming to Potter Hall on campus. Potter Hall houses the School of Fine Arts.

While xylophone music can be soothing to the ears, when more than one musician is playing at once, and they're playing entirely different pieces, it's something totally different.

"It's distracting," said Caleb Fankhauser, a freshman music major specializing in percussion. "You do what you can."

That's been the situation for percussion students at Potter Hall for several years. They outgrew their space in the building and were relegated to a modular set up behind the building.

"If you get two or three people in this main room, you can't hear anything," Fankhauser said.

For some of the percussion ensembles, there can be up to 30 musicians playing at the same time.

"Especially when it's the same instrument, you get distracted with where you are or you just can't hear what you're playing yourself," said Fankhauser.

That will change thanks to the new practice facility, which is part of a $750,000 construction project approved by the university's Board of Governors on Thursday.

"We'll be able to put in practice rooms and offices to accommodate our award-winning percussion program," said Dr. Bob Willenbrink, founding dean of the School of Fine Arts.

More space means greater opportunity for learning.

"During the day practice space is at a real premium," Willenbrink said. "This will really help them that way."

"If any of us have our own space, we can focus on what we have to and improve a lot faster," said Fankhauser

News their space would get a makeover came as music to the musicians' ears.

"As you grow as a musician you start to pay more attention to smaller details in the music when you're playing." said Job Dick, a senior music student at MWSU.

In addition to the new practice rooms, there will be new restrooms, office space and a private driveway up to the entrance of Potter Hall.
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