Farthing Auditorium closed for the year, causes changes to campus performances

Anne Buie

The performing arts groups in Boone will now have to rely on other venues for their various events, following the announcement of renovations to Farthing Auditorium which was reported last spring.

The renovations are expected to take at least a year.

This limits groups to performance space in the Valborg Theatre, Rosen Concert Hall and I.G. Greer.

Manager of marketing and public relations for the Turchin Center of Visual Arts Megan Stage said she acknowledged Farthing being a “pivotal resource for the arts at Appalachian” and its closing had affected booking tours. 

 

Appalachian Popular Programming Society advisor Randy Kelly said it will be a “case by case” situation for asking musicans to come play at these alternate locations. 

“Some musicians won’t play curtain down arenas while others will only play in auditoriums built for its acoustics,” Kelly said.

However, Stage is learning to make the best of a bad situation. 

“This building renovation has opened up a wonderful opportunity to work with our campus and community partners in a way we haven’t done before and also gave us an opportunity to think creatively, and in a way, think of every open space on campus as a performance hall,” Stage said. “It is our hope that after this renovation project is complete, we will have a venue that will be a great resource for the campus and High Country community.”

However, the loss of this large venue will significantly change how some groups perform, including Appalachian’s choral groups.

With the renovations taking place, one large concert is no longer an option.

“The renovations only affect the one concert I am in charge of, but that one is the big annual holiday concert. This year would’ve been the twentieth year, so it breaks my heart a little bit that we can’t have it,” said Dr. Stephen Hopkins, director of choral activities for the Hayes School of Music. “We hope it will be a nice one year detour from what we normally do, so I guess we’ll all have to play nicely in the sandbox together this year.”

Story: MEGAN WRAPPE, Arts and Entertainment reporter