The Arthur Bartner Band Pavilion officially held its open house Sunday for Spirit of Troy members to celebrate.
Located on the second floor of the Lyon Recreation Center, the Pavilion — which includes locker rooms, a tuba and drum room, a lounge area and an audiovisual system — is the most notable upgrade for the band since 1995. It opened at the start of the fall semester.
The lack of an adequate indoor practice space necessitated the development of the new facility, which is named after the band’s director.
“It’s nice to have a rehearsal space we can call our own because before we didn’t have a rehearsal space that wasn’t outdoors,” Spirit of Troy Director of Public Relations Brett Padelford said. “We basically had to go wherever we could.”
The band had been previously situated in the basement of Stonier Hall. However, that space lacked locker rooms and space.
“In our old spot at Stonier Hall downstairs in the basement, there was really no place for the band members to change or store their uniforms,” Padelford said. “We had people everywhere, trying to get ready [and] get into uniform.”
Bartner said he had been trying to get the band a new space since he started working with Spirit of Troy in 1970, but was impeded by a lack of funds.
“We outgrew [Stonier Hall] in the second year,” Bartner said. “I’d been … working through the bureaucracy [of the University] and couldn’t get the space, couldn’t get the funding, couldn’t get the donor.”
However, this changed when two students attended a discussion with then-President C. L. Max Nikias in 2016 to address the problems with the Stonier Hall location.
Bartner explained that Nikias agreed to open up a new space for the band after visiting the cramped basement. Plans for the Bartner Pavilion began immediately in January 2017.
“The students who put in all this time, 10 to 15 hours a week, deserve a home,” Bartner said. “They deserve a rehearsal hall.”
According to Assistant Director of the Spirit of Troy Jacob Vogel, another feature of the Pavilion includes a surround-sound audiovisual system with a drop-down screen for the band to gather and critique past performances.
“[The Pavilion] shows that the University cares about [the band],” Padelford said. “Before, there was a sense that we were kind of stuck in the basement, that the students didn’t matter as much. Now that we have our own space, [it] really shows how much that the band is important on campus.”
Bartner said after working with the band for nearly 50 years, he considers the opening of the Pavilion a personal triumph.
“This is a dream come true for me, “Bartner said. “Every time I go over there, I’m in awe. It’s wonderful.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated that the Arthur Bartner Pavilion opened on Sunday. The pavilion held an open house on Sunday, and has opened at the start of the fall semester.