Gallo Center for the Arts Opens in Modesto
A decade in the making, the new Gallo Center for the Arts opens Thursday. Jeff Hudson learns about the new hall’s acoustics, and examines what the complex will mean to Modesto
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The main hall at the Gallo Center has no windows, none at all. But the room has draperies, and all of them can move.
“We have the ability to tailor them… ”
That’s veteran acoustic designer Chris Jaffe -- a scholarly man who’s designed concert halls for 40 years. Jaffe knows that for unamplified classical music, a hall needs a reverberant acoustic. Jaffe was all smiles when he measured the reverberation down to the tenth of a second in this trumpet test. You can hear the sound linger.
(trumpet, “William Tell”)
“For classical music, you’re looking for….”
But touring musicals use big towers of booming speakers. That’s when the draperies get deployed.
“They will absorb sound …”
Then there’s the OUTSIDE environment. (bus sound) The Gallo Center is right downtown, surrounded by streets. Architect Frank Gaffney planned for trucks and buses.
“Not to mention a train….”
Gaffney also got direction from the Gallo family about how the lobby should look.
“The main elements that Ernest wanted…”
Marie Gallo is the board president, and she believes the new arts center will be a magnet drawing people into downtown Modesto.
“That’s the exciting thing…”
That’s because both local ensembles and touring groups will use the new center. Gallo acknowledged that finishing the $40 million project has taken longer, and involved more fundraising, than she anticipated.
“Ten years. . .”
Patty Hill Thomas has been the project manager since 1999. She’s monitored every detail during construction, from the acoustics to the doorknobs. She sees the Gallo Center as a turning point for the community.
“It really isn’t about the building…
The opening gala is Thursday, featuring the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. You can bet that Patty Hill Thomas is psyched up for the event.
“We’re almost done, it looks like it works, and I can’t wait for the community to enjoy this center.”