Watch out, Juilliard, Mason’s coming

You may have taken a nice stroll through the beautiful, immaculate campus of Jacksonville State University and came across one of the top attractions on campus, Mason Hall.

The facade of the building offers a tranquil-like ambience for anyone who visits this prestigious academic institution.

If you have never taken a small detour into Mason, then you are missing out on a life-changing experience.

Open to anyone who needs to practice, day or night, this building contains state-of-the-art technology and updated instruments.

Most of the practice rooms contain their own piano. A musician using one of these pianos is quite similar to a gambler playing poker — he never knows what kind of result he’ll receive.

Some of the frequent piano players who visit Mason love practicing on the pianos’ missing keys. The missing keys are not a problem, it just presents a special challenge.

Jarrett Irish, a star jazz saxophone player, says, “Tuning to these pianos actually helps train my ear to hear my tuning note in varying degrees. I’ll hit a middle C and instead receive a B-flat an octave down. You just never know.”

Some of the frequent inhabitants of Mason Hall attest that the building makes its own music. Falling ceiling tiles create a special ornamentation unmatched by any sound produced from another instrument or voice.

If one listens closely, you can hear a ceiling tile provide the necessary crescendo to create the tension and beauty of a particular phrase in a musical selection.

Duets and trios with other instruments are a thing of the past — Mason Hall is providing an innovative alternative into the future.

One of Mason Hall’s most prominent features are the one-hundred percent sound-proof practice rooms located throughout the building.

According to jazz musician, Jessica Creel, the sound-proof practice rooms provide a comfortable and stress-free zone for practicing. “I love glancing up from a piece of music I’m working on to find a group of critics telling me I sound like Kenny G in his prime,” said Jessica, “Sometimes the practice rooms make me feel like I’m in an entertainment box.”

Unbeknownst to the student population, Mason features its own animal habitat composed of bats in the building’s performance center.

The unveiling of this special attraction took place last March when world-class jazz musicians performed at Mason Hall. During a concert, the bats began to fly above the musicians as if they were in a special rehearsed dance.

Irish explained the bats have a rather charming personality, “I really miss having the bats around. I would frequently visit the performance center to feed the creatures after a long practice session. A calming sensation would come over me when the bats would swoop right above my head.”

Mason Hall is the leading figure for music buildings. To the eye of a non-music student, Mason may seem like just another ordinary academic building, but to frequent visitors, Mason is much more than that.

Matthew Hill
Staff Writer

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