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  • Henry Ashburn

Historic Sacramento Memorial Auditorium Now Open

McKay Conant Hoover has provided its acoustical and audiovisual consulting services for the latest significant renovation ($16.2 million) of California's Historic Sacramento Memorial Auditorium since opening in 1927.

This major multi-purpose venue has long featured the likes of The Doors, Rolling Stones, boxing matches, circuses, as well as weddings, graduations, etc. The latest breath of fresh air is brought by Architectural Nexus architects and a seasoned team of specialty consultants including Schuler Shook (theater) and MCH addressing acoustical and AV design.

The unique venue (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) features nearly 4,000 seats, two balconies, a hydraulic orchestra-level wood floor providing a raked audience area when desired, an intricate ceiling of "rosettes", a grand proscenium opening, and now, a plethora of variable acoustic drapery & orchestra shell elements.

The Memorial Auditorium now serves as the new (temporary) home to the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera and Broadway Sacramento while their current home, The Community Center Theater, undergoes its own major renovation (for which we were requested to provide peer review consulting). To accommodate the Memorial's new programming, MCH provided variable acoustics features, upgraded audio, and helped design a near-custom portable orchestra shell.

The Sacramento Philharmonic's first performance in the newly-renovated hall was Tchaikovsky's “Pathétique" directed by Andrew Grams, performed on October 19, 2019. Also on the program that evening were Wagner's "Tannhäuser" March (the first orchestral piece performed in the hall years ago) and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto featuring William Hagen on violin. Dave Conant and Henry Ashburn of MCH were in attendance to hear the results of their "tuning" exercise held with the orchestra during prior rehearsals in the hall.

More information on the Memorial Auditorium (including an events calendar and ticket information) can be found here.

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