WALLINGFORD, Conn., Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/—On October 10, Choate Rosemary Hall’s Board of Trustees dedicated Ann and George Colony Hall, an architectural and programmatic complement to the I.M. Pei-designed Paul Mellon Arts Center built in 1972. In addition to the auditorium, which serves as the venue for weekly all-school meetings and as a vocal and instrumental performance space, Colony Hall houses the School’s music and dance programs, and is home to the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra in-residence. The facility will host guest artist and student performances open to the public.
Presiding at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were George F. Colony ‘72, Chair of the Board of Trustees; Alex Curtis, Head of School; Trustees of the School; lead donors; and the Mayor of Wallingford and Town Council members. The 51,761-square-foot auditorium and classroom building, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, is the fourth building on campus designed for U.S. Green Building Council LEED-certification.
George Colony, and his wife, Ann, for whom the facility is named, live in Concord, Mass. A member of Choate Class of 1972 and a 1977 graduate of Harvard University, Mr. Colony is the founder of Forrester Research, Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., and has been its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board since 1983. A member of Choate Rosemary Hall’s Board of Trustees since 2013, Mr. Colony was elected as Chair in July 2019. He has served on the boards of The Fessenden School and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science; and has served as a member of the World Economic Forum. He was a 2006 recipient of the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in the Services category. In 2005, he was a recipient of Choate’s Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus.
Colony Hall’s 1,070-seat auditorium is among the best music and spoken word venues of its size in New England. The auditorium reflects balanced natural light from above on three sides, an idea taken from traditional New England meeting houses. Colony Hall’s venues provide students with first-class rehearsal and performance spaces. Surrounding the Recital Hall are practice rooms, faculty offices, a percussion studio and a Green Room. The backstage area contains musical instrument lockers and storage for sheet music. Open stairs in the lobby lead to the auditorium’s balcony and a dance studio, with changing rooms and an office for the dance instructors.
Colony Hall fulfills one of the signature objectives of the School’s 2013 Strategic Plan to “allocate appropriate resources so that the entire school can gather to share, celebrate, and reflect.” Says Mr. Colony, “The next 30 years at Choate Rosemary Hall are going to be dynamic and filled with change – it will be critical that everyone at the School be able to sit together in one place and converse, appreciate, learn, dream, and communicate. My goal is that every student will have fantastic memories that happened in Colony Hall – whether it be a concert, a dance performance, a school meeting, a debate, or a speech. My aspiration is that what happens in Colony Hall will change lives.”
Says Head of School Alex Curtis, “Colony Hall creates a stunning complex devoted to the performing and visual arts. I look forward to the performances that will grace this platform, to the sounds and movements that will emerge from this building, and to all the beauty that will be created within these walls. We thank Ann and George Colony and other generous supporters of this transformative project for their essential roles in developing this vision.”
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SOURCE Choate Rosemary Hall