On April 26 (2012), LSU unveiled its new home for "The Golden Band from Tigerland," officially cutting the ribbon on the new Tiger Band Hall facility at an event hosted by the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts.
The 17,740-square-foot complex, located on Aster Street near Highland Road and just beyond the campus' north gates, will be used by for rehearsals by the Tiger Band and the LSU School of Music's entire band area, including the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds and Symphonic Band concert groups.
"The new Tiger Band Hall is a welcome addition to support a very visible entity that is closely identified with the spirit, identity, pride and passion of LSU," said Laurence Kaptain, dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts. "This will be the fourth building in the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts, and our faculty and students will benefit greatly from the much needed space for storage and rehearsals as well as the teaching, learning and creativity that emanates from our band program and other areas."
Serenaded by members of the Tiger Band performing songs that the LSU community has come to know and love, a host of supporters and campus officials toured the facility during the event, led by members of the band as well as members of the Colorguard and Golden Girls. A luncheon followed the festivities.
The overall cost to construct the facility came in at $8.7 million, with up to $10 million approved by state government for the project, LSU Director of Facility Development Emmett David said. He added that a competitive bid process led to the project coming in under budget, and that unused dollars were returned to the state's general fund.
"The original costs projected in 2007 were more than $10 million dollars, and we are very proud that the Tiger Band Hall came in well under those original budget estimates," Kaptain said. "With the lower construction costs due to the recession, this stands as positive fiscal news in higher education during this difficult time in the nation's economy."
Most storage concerns have been eliminated with the new Tiger Band Hall, a facility with separate climate controlled spaces to accommodate everything from musical instruments, field equipment and band uniforms to Colorguard banners and Golden Girl uniform accessories.
The centerpiece of the new Tiger Band Hall is the band's first ever indoor rehearsal space, which is about the size of a standard basketball court.
King said the concept for the size of the rehearsal room was determined by using the floor space of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. He noted that, when seated, the Tiger Band takes up the dimensions of a basketball court.
"When architects asked us how big all the spaces and critical adjacencies needed to be, that's how we came up with the square footage for the big room," he said.
According to King, the design of the rehearsal hall is intentional and takes into account certain Tiger Band traditions and best practices. To this end, a 15-foot wide projection screen is available for the band to review their halftime performance immediately after returning from Tiger Stadium on home game days. Also, designated walls are mirrored to accommodate Colorguard and Golden Girl rehearsals.
Every element of the rehearsal room is tied to the acoustical system, from the double set of motorized purple velvet curtains that line the walls surrounding the room, to the angled walls. The curtains also control light from the clerestory windows that surround the rehearsal room.
"The room can be adjusted to accommodate everything from the full Tiger Band to the 60 piece Wind Ensemble," King said. "An ensemble conductor can alter the acoustics of the room as needed. The irregular nature of the slat work was done for the acoustical properties and diffuses the sound as it hits the wall."
Outside, the band will continue using its current practice field for rehearsals of halftime performances. However, now overlooking the field is a specially designed observation tower with a 133-square-foot base, providing a safer observation area for King and other staff members to survey formations.
"We've never had a permanent conductor's tower before now," King said. "This tower is one of the best of its kind anywhere in the conference or, quite possibly, the nation."
New Orleans architecture firm Howard Performance Architecture designed the complex, and Baton Rouge building contractor firm Percy J. Matherne Contractor Inc. served as the project's general contractor.
Can someone please explain to me why they don't open up the lot next to the building for parking on game day anymore.