The transepts of the chapel, which is located on the OU campus, were renovated during the fall semester to house the modular rooms, which were manufactured and installed by Wenger Corporation, an Owatonna, Minn.-based pioneer in virtual acoustic environments, according to an OU news release. The rooms are of various sizes to accommodate individuals or ensembles.
“One of the essential components to build and sustain a quality music program is the quality of the facilities in which students practice and receive private applied instruction,” Roger Kugler, director of music programs, said in the release.
The Wenger rooms offer a number of features that make for a superior practice experience, Kugler said, including nine virtual performance settings to simulate the type of venue in which the musicians would be performing. The modular rooms also have the ability to digitally record/save sessions, as well as play them back.
Each of the practice rooms uses a self-contained design — lighting, wiring and ventilation are built in and all wiring is run through sound-isolated raceways, according to the news release. The rooms also include sound-isolating walls and ceiling panels with a 16-gauge steel exterior and 22-gauge steel interior surfaces and can be relocated or reconfigured within hours, the release said.
“The addition of these state-of-the-art Wenger SoundLok practice rooms and teaching studios demonstrates Ottawa University’s commitment to the continued elevation of its music programming,” Kugler said. “They also showcase the generosity of many music-minded alumni. These rooms will provide our students and faculty with excellent teaching and learning facilities for many years to come.”