Each year, ISM undergoes dramatic renovation in order to upgrade its facilities. Last year, students were welcomed to campus by a new robotics department, track, and tennis center. This year, the music suite was revamped and a great many improvements were made to enhance students’ musical learning.
All the rooms in the Music Department, including the AMR, were torn down to maximize use of space. Concrete pillars are all that remain of the structures last year. Classrooms are now nearly twice their original sizes and have acoustics that suit the needs of their respective departments. For instance, the strings and choir rooms replaced their old carpeting with wooden floors that reflect, rather than absorb, sound. Additionally, cement walls were replaced with new acoustic enclosures that enhance, instead of stifle, the open movement of sound. Fresh lockers for our instrumentalists have been painted with ISM colours to show school unity and spirit in music. ISM’s actors will be delighted to hear that, during renovation, the dressing rooms and storage rooms for the FAT were revamped to improve their accessibility and overall convenience.
In December, the “missing half” of the music department will finally join us; nine custom-made practice rooms will be shipped over to the Philippines. These new facilities range in size and will accommodate everyone from pianists to rock bands to string octets. Rooms’ “virtual acoustics” will let musicians with just a few clicks of a button get a taste of what their performance would sound like in Carnegie Hall. Microphone installations will allow students to record themselves according to their needs. Just around the corner, the highly anticipated AMR will be unveiled in September after last-minute touches make it impeccable. We will see the hall equipped with a new sound booth in addition to an upgraded stage and higher ceilings.
And what is left? The opportunity for us students to take full advantage of our creative faculties and facilities while still preserving those facilities for artistic endeavours in years to come.
Article by : Nicole Yoon
Photographs by: Charlene Mamaril