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Renovation of Ford Auditorium



HEART Berry College’s time-tested “education of the head, heart and hands” combines intellectual skills and practical skills in a way that shapes people known for their work ethic, character and readiness for the challenges of life. Our demanding academic programs rival those of many of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges, and our voluntary student work program is the largest and most sophisticated of its type in the nation. We teach responsibility by giving responsibility and seek to graduate engaged citizens who are ready, willing and able to improve their families, workplaces and world.


Renovation of Ford Auditorium Fundraising Goal – $4.3 Million

Music and song are, in my opinion, so fine and necessary a part of life that without them we cannot be said really to live at all.

– Henry Ford, 1937

Henry Ford knew about more than building automobiles; he understood the importance of the arts to human existence. In many ways, he brought enjoyment of music to the Berry campus, and he can be credited fully with the creation of Berry’s signature venue for music performance, Ford Auditorium. Ford and his wife, Clara, hired the finest craftsmen to build the auditorium in the late 1920s, and it has served Berry students long and well – both those who study music formally and those who sing or play an instrument for the sheer love of it. Today Ford Auditorium is the central rehearsal space and one of three main classrooms for Berry’s music program as well as the college’s primary concert hall for student, faculty and guest-artist performances. It is time now to breathe new life into this historic structure, which is part of the very fabric of the Berry campus. Doing so will enhance the education of our students and the enjoyment of the arts at Berry College for decades to come.


The sound of music To best fulfill its purpose as Berry’s chief venue for music education and performance, Ford Auditorium must undergo a number of renovations, including significant acoustical improvements. Nothing is as important to music education and the enjoyment of musical performance as the ability to discern the nuanced qualities of sound. Scientific understanding of acoustics has changed dramatically since Ford Auditorium was constructed. Today, we know that the auditorium’s high ceilings and open structure create numerous challenges for sound transmission. A plan developed by one of the nation’s premier acoustics consulting firms will enable us to address these issues with beautiful results even as we restore and preserve historic architectural elements that provide visual splendor. We also will enlarge the stage, improve backstage and instrument-storage facilities, revamp audience seating with improved sight lines, upgrade the lobby area, and install state-of-the-art lighting, recording and curtain systems. The result will be a dramatically improved artistic experience for student musicians and a finer concert experience for all.


Renovation and restoration The details include: • 1,086 square-foot accessible stage with curved front • 366 seats in arched configuration; redesigned balcony with improved sight lines • High-performance acoustics including all-wood ceiling, wood-carved acoustical paneling, adjustable acoustical banners, and sound reflectors • Digital stage lighting • Digital sound system with recording capabilities • Multimedia capabilities • Restoration of historic elements, such as light fixtures, plaster arches, wood carvings and stained glass • New mechanical, electrical, plumbing and curtain systems • Climate-controlled instrument storage • Updated green room • Renovated foyer/lobby


David’s story Trombonist, music-education major and world-class drum corps conductor David Warren of Carrollton, Ga., hails from a musical family and grew up watching his older brother rehearse with the high school marching band. When his time came, he took performance to the next level, joining the Illinois-based Phantom Regiment drum and bugle corps and eventually earning the honor of conducting the regiment’s 2014 and 2015 marching seasons. Drum Corps International, marching music’s “major league,” has recognized David with its Jim Jones Leadership Award. At Berry, David is assistant to the director of the wind ensemble. He’s also served as student manager of Ford Auditorium.


instrument storage storage


piano storage



stage instrument storage



main level

floor plans bath

balcony corridor


instru storage

sound booth

seating below

Green room


Balcony level


Whitney’s story For Whitney Webster of Trussville, Ala., when one door closed, a musical one opened. The musicbusiness major was a competitive level 10 gymnast in high school before a severe ankle injury derailed her athletic dreams. While recovering from surgery, she found music soothing to her soul and soon picked up where she had left off years earlier playing the piano. Next, came voice lessons. Now a talented vocalist, she’s eyeing a future move to Nashville to join the country music scene, either as a performer or through work in copyright law. Whitney also would like the opportunity to use her music to spread the gospel internationally.


Improved sight lines

Existing view to stage

new view to stage

For information on supporting the renovation of historic Ford Auditorium, please contact Scott Breithaupt, assistant vice president for campaign and leadership giving, at or 706-238-5897.

Berry students graduate... ready to work – now. ready to learn – more. ready to serve – always.

P.O. Box 490069 Mount Berry, GA 30149-0069 706.236.2253 or 877.461.0039 FAX 706.236.1700

Profile for Berry College

Ford auditorium brochure  

Ford auditorium brochure