The Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center plans to install a set of outdoor vertical chimes called Rhapsody VibraChimes outside the venue.
Tiger Giving Day donors raised $12,965 for the GPAC chimes installation project on Feb. 24 through the "Take the Music Outdoors" campaign.
“We thought that would be a great opportunity to get the community involved in something fun, something that’s accessible if they’re out on a walk around GPAC,” said Christina Ganus, campus and community program manager for the GPAC.
She said eight orange chimes with attached mallets will be installed along the sidewalk.
Ganus said there will also be a kind of music stand installed with it, complete with music to play on the chimes. The main piece of music will be the Auburn University fight song. One of the main goals, however, is to make the chimes accessible, she said.
Ganus said the music will be developed to be accessible even to those who do not read music so that all ages and skill levels will be able to interact with the installation. They will also be built right off the sidewalk, making them accessible to wheelchair users.
“That was probably our biggest thing, was that whatever instrument we put in there, whether you’ve been playing percussion your whole life or this is the first experience that you’ve had picking up a mallet … we wanted it to be something that could be fun for anyone,” Ganus said.
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This makes the project good for local families, she said.
“This will be an installation for all ages,” Ganus said. "It provides developmental and sensory benefits. It can help with motor skills [and] musical skills such as pitch and interval recognition if they’re playing any of the songs.”
While the Gogue Center used to offer in-person concerts for K-12 students, these ceased with COVID-19.
Ganus said the center is now offering an online curriculum for educators to ease the loss of these, and the chimes project will not only augment but be a part of this. The center hopes to offer resources specifically on the chimes to educators who may bring their classes to the Gogue Center in the future.
The installation is projected to be completed in early summer, Ganus said.
“We really just wanted to bring some music in these times and wanted families and students to get out and enjoy the fresh air,” she said.
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