(Seguin) -- The Department of Dramatic Media introduced the community to the newly finished portion of the Caroline M. Weston Center for the Performing Arts at Texas Lutheran University.
Those people, who visited the performing arts center over the weekend, only got a glimpse of what's planned for that building. On the north side of the building, a whole new space is also being developed for TLU's School of Music.
Dr. Eliza Jeffords, director of strings and assistant professor at TLU, says she can't wait to move into the still under construction facility located on the northern end of Jackson.
Jeffords says the music department for years has operated with limited elbow room at the Schuech Fine Arts Center/Wupperman Little Theater. Now as she walks through the construction zone, she too can't help but feel excited about all the new opportunities that will be extended to her students.
"So I've been at TLU for eight years. I know it hasn't been that long, but as long as I've been here, they've talked about building a new space. The other faculty who have been here much longer than that remember several iterations of discussions on building new fine arts facilities. So, it's going to be a really exciting improvement for us. We are busting at the seams in the school of music right now. It's going to add a lot of value to what we're able to do. It'll definitely be nice to collaborate between our programs (dramatic media) and have the students who overlap will be closer together," said Jeffords.
Jeffords says independent instruction and practice space are crucial to both musicians and students in the choral program. She says with rehearsal halls, ensemble halls and multiple individual practice rooms, this new 32,000 square foot, two-story music facility fits the future of the program perfectly.
"They're totally exciting for me personally because the orchestra program is relatively new at TLU and we don't have a home at all. So I have to grab rehearsal space when I can when the band and choir are not rehearsing. So the orchestra will finally have a home and that'll really open up the possibilities for us to rehearse and do more. I just see all of our students struggling to find a place to practice. We have rumbas in the hallways, which is distracting for doing work in our offices for the rehearsals, so all the percussion students are going to have a place to practice as well as the other students. We're adding a bunch of practice rooms so they'll be able to get their work done more easily," said Jeffords.
The live theater and studio space are now open. The music additions aren't expected to be completed until December. The construction and expansion of Jackson Auditorium, including its lobby, began one year ago. The project honors its namesake Caroline Weston and the Weston Family who gave the university a generous donation for the additions to the 31-year-old auditorium.