Founded in 1992 by a group of local parents seeking more from their education system, the Cab Calloway School of the Arts intertwines excellence in academics with the performing arts, creating a unique arts-based experience. With quality and excellence at the forefront of the curriculum, an equally valuable auditorium and performance space was essential for students and faculty members.

School administrators contracted the help of ABHA Architects to take the current and unattractive auditorium space to new heights. ABHA gutted the space so that all surface finishes, including the seats within the building envelope, would be new. Roughly 1,000 stadium-style seats descend toward the 45-foot, fixed stage. A fully depressed orchestra pit sits below the stage, complete with an overhang. With these features, it will work very well in helping to blend the orchestra with musicians on the Stage.

Acentech provided acoustics consulting services for the renovation. Interior room acoustics and mechanical system noise control were both addressed to create an environment that fits the school’s strong music program. Acoustics consultants also recommended the use of diffusion and absorption panels on the side walls, absorption on the rear wall, and a ‘bowed-out’ front wall section. Carpeted aisles help to minimize impact noises from footfall and dropped objects. The upholstered seats allow performers to experience a similar acoustic environment during rehearsals and during performances. Stage towers and overhead reflector panels will help direct sound out from the Stage to the audience, as well as help musicians on stage hear each other well.

The end result is a versatile space that is well suited for artistic growth.

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