Dan Condron is vice president for university affairs at Sonoma State University. He discusses the impact of the newly built Green Music Center.
Q: Describe the activity you have seen to date at the Green Music Center. Does it meet projections?
A: Weill Hall at the Green Music Center was opened on Sept. 29, 2012 so we have just finished our first year. During this time we have presented 21 performances of our MasterCard Performance Series, 34 performances of the Santa Rosa Symphony, four performances of the San Francisco Symphony, 11 performances of our On-Campus Presents Series and 47 Concerts presented by our Sonoma State University Department of Music and Center for Performing Arts. We have had over 120,000 guests attend our various performances, which has exceeded our projections.
Q: What work is left to complete the Green Music Center?
A: Schroeder Hall is scheduled to open Aug. 23, 2014. It will be 3,420 square feet in size and will seat 250 people. It will be notable for its curved architecture, soaring ceilings, and dedicated organ balcony where a 1,248-pipe Brombaugh Opus 9 organ will be installed on the stage-end wall.
The MasterCard Performing Arts Pavilion will be an outdoor pavilion for music and dance and will be located on the northeast side of Weill Hall and will add to the versatile Green Music Center complex by offering an ideal location for outdoor performances. Future plans feature a permanent concert outdoor shell and stage, both fixed and lawn seating, and various concession spaces and support spaces for a total capacity of 10,000 guests. It is scheduled to open Summer of 2015 depending on the completion of our fundraising campaign.
Q: Where has the center focused its advertising outside of Sonoma County?
A: Napa County, Marin County and San Francisco.
Q: Have there been any tweaks/unexpected issues discovered in the time the center has been operational?
A. Nothing major stands out. There are many issues that we have worked on during the first year and that we will continue to work on over time. For example, we have resolved the issue of permanent outdoor screens for Weill Hall, improved signage for local streets to help our guests locate the Green Music Center, and the introduction of fixed price menus in Prelude (our restaurant) to help our guests enjoy a quality meal and still get to their concert on time.
Q: What sort of economic impact do you anticipate in the long run that the Green Music Center will have on the immediate and surrounding areas?
A: In the long run, the Green Music Center will help to attract more people to visit and stay in Sonoma County. This will result in economic benefit to local restaurants, hotels, retail stores and others who benefit from tourist spending. Combined with other Sonoma County tourist attractions like wineries, redwoods, the Pacific Coast as well as other cultural destinations, it will help to enhance our local and regional economy.
Q: Do you view the forthcoming casino as a potential boon for the Green Music Center?
A: We feel that the more people who come to Sonoma County, the better our chances will be to attract them to attend a performance at the Green Music Center and support our various programming efforts at all levels.
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