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REF NO.: 232

SUBJECT: Four days of activities will mark the opening of Memorial University's new Petro-Canada Hall at the School of Music
DATE: March 9, 2005

Memorial University's Petro-Canada Hall is set to officially open on Thursday, March 17, 2005, with an opening concert and four days of celebratory events. The new rehearsal and performance hall - built with $1.2 million in support from Petro-Canada - will be available for university faculty and students and for use by the wider provincial music community. Petro-Canada is the operator of the Terra Nova offshore oil field and participant in the Hibernia and White Rose developments.

Opening activities include a special inaugural concert on the evening of March 17 featuring the world premiere of Petropen, a percussion-based piece specifically commissioned for the Petro-Canada Hall opening from internationally-renowned percussionist John Wyre. Other events include the performance of Nightingale, a work-in-progress by Artistic Fraud's Robert Chafe and Jillian Keiley and based on the life of Georgina Stirling; a Kitchen Party; and Cross Canada Sing, a simulcast performance from Edmonton featuring the award-winning chamber choirs from Memorial and the University of Alberta. Most of the opening events will be Web cast. For more information about the opening celebration events, please see www.mun.ca/petrocanadahall.php.

The new 195 square metre (2,100 square foot) rehearsal and performance facility adjoins the M.O. Morgan Music Building near the D. F. Cook Recital Hall, on the east side of the building. With a performance area of approximately 56 square metres (600 square feet) an audience capacity of 124 people and a rehearsal capacity of 150, the new Petro-Canada Hall positions the School of Music to expand its performance and conference capabilities to meet the needs of the community. The new facility also includes a small suite of offices available for university and community music organizations.
The Petro-Canada Hall enables the School of Music to increase the range of services it can offer to the music community, both within the St. John's metropolitan area and through the extended reach of electronic communication. Equipped for both recording and Web-casting, the facility links the School of Music to global communities for real-time distance instruction and multi-site rehearsal.

Gordon Carrick, vice-president, East Coast Petro-Canada, and Dr. Axel Meisen, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, announced the project in November 2003.

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