The 2016-17 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) season features an amazing collection of music. The list of pieces to be performed includes Elgar’s “Sea Pictures” and Vaughan Williams’ “A Sea Symphony.” Mahler’s “The Song of Earth,” Oliver Knussen’s “Flourish with Fireworks” and Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” are also on the program.
If you’re a casual fan of classical music, you might not recognize those names or titles. All you might know for sure is that you like what you hear. I count myself as a member of this group. We all have our different interests and different perspectives. Thankfully, the ASO is comprised of seasoned professionals who are passionate about music. Their zest brings audiences great joy.
As you well know, Patterson Pope’s passion is storage. Storage of stuff – all kinds of stuff. We’re always excited about opportunities that present themselves to marry our expertise with that of others. Well, that’s exactly what happened with the ASO!
Though you may not have ever thought about it, the ASO indeed has its very own librarian! Her name is Rebecca Beavers, and her official title is principal librarian. She, along with an assistant and several part-time librarians, keep track of all the music the orchestra plays. Patterson Pope was there to assist Ms. Beavers and the ASO in updating their library, in so doing nearly tripling their storage capacity and re-orienting the space to make it more comfortable and efficient.
“This project actually began with shelving that was moving on its own,” said Beavers. “That was what got us thinking it was time to do something new.”
For that, you can blame age, not the ghost of Brahms. The symphony was officially formed in 1945, and the library had been essentially untouched since it was first used as such in 1987. In addition to the inadequate shelving, there was also an office in the back that was essentially a storage room. While much of classical music only gets better with age, the same cannot be said for lesser shelving and storage options.
With the assistance of Sales Representative Dick Beery and Patterson Pope planners, a new layout was devised for the space. The reimagining added three times the storage capacity and even upgraded some office furniture.
“The unique thing about this project was that we designed and space-planned the entire area, not just the footprint for the high-density shelving,” said Beery. “We also reused a portion of the wood bookshelves from an old high-density system we tore out along the outside walls of the area. That added warmth and a retro look which the ASO team absolutely loves.”
He added that Patterson Pope was also able to use re-purposed product from another job to store the symphony’s music arrangements while the project was being completed.
“We had to pay attention to the layout and, really, the whole flow of the space,” said Beavers. “The entire room was gutted. We added a fire suppression system, and were able to make a huge difference. There’s even a separate work area for the computers and phones.”
Also added was an area for staging. The librarians use the area to plan future programs. Beavers pointed out that the librarians often work weeks, months or even years in advance when planning for the orchestra’s season. The new space is more organized and offers more flexibility than before the upgrade. A new kitchen area and changing space were also incorporated into the design.
“Things have been reoriented a little bit,” said Beavers. “Now, the musicians come in at the front. They can check out the music and have access to the librarians if they have any questions. It’s been absolutely fabulous.”
Patterson Pope was happy to don its “artiste” cap in the effort to help upgrade and rearrange the music library for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, an organization that plays second fiddle to no one! The right amount of high-density shelving improved storage options while opening the area up for increased interaction and research. The end result was a better planned and more organized space that fostered community, creativity and a certain conviviality.
The end result? An ardent “Bravo!”
To learn more about this project, download our Success Story.