‘Renowned’ Acoustical Firm Signs on to Vitek Center Project

The Richard and Marilyn Vitek Center for Musical Arts moves another step toward creation with the hiring of Northeast-based Acoustic Distinctions as acoustician. Says Albion College music professor David Abbott, “We are now on track to build a first-class recital hall.”


Northeast-based Acoustic Distinctions to provide expertise for new Albion music building

April 16, 2018

Albion College music professor David Abbott has played in some of the finest music halls around the world so he’s pretty sure he knows good sound when he hears it.

And when he learned that Albion had hired Acoustic Distinctions as the acoustician for the College’s new Richard and Marilyn Vitek Center for Musical Arts, he could not have been happier.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Abbott, a professor of piano at Albion since 2005 and the Music Department’s liaison on the $7 million project, announced last fall. “We are now on track to build a first-class recital hall. Albion’s students deserve the very best sound and Acoustic Distinctions will help us achieve this. You can’t see acoustics nor can you taste it, but performing artists are trained what to listen for. The concert stage is my ‘laboratory.’ I know the Viteks will be very pleased that we secured a professionally renowned acoustical firm of this stature.”

The music center is coming together through a generous gift commitment from the Viteks, who are both graduates from Albion’s Class of 1956 and whose gift is the largest by an individual or couple in the College’s 183-year history. Plans are for the Vitek Center to be built near the corner of Ingham and Cass streets, just south of Goodrich Chapel.

As one of a small but elite group of sought-after acoustical firms, Acoustic Distinctions, with offices in New York City; Stamford, Conn.; Lancaster, Pa.; and Los Angeles, is widely respected for its acoustic designs on performing arts centers and university fine arts performance spaces as well as museums, office buildings, houses of worship and mixed-use facilities around the country.

And the key to it, Abbott believes, is David Kahn, who has spent 35 years in the field of architectural acoustics and will take the acoustic lead on the Vitek project.

“They really have a list of impressive past clients as well as an impeccable work record,” Abbott said.

Abbott met Kahn last year at a fact-finding conference and came away impressed and hopeful that the College would hire him for the new hall.

“David is a trained musician who plays trumpet in weekly orchestra rehearsals in New York City,” Abbott said. “It’s a big plus for us since his musical background allows him to precisely understand our artistic goals and needs. He’s a hands-on type of guy and the entire Music Department is thrilled with the appointment of this prestigious musical firm.”

While the Viteks’ gift will go a long way toward the center’s creation, there are additional giving opportunities for this project, said Robert Anderson, the College’s vice president for alumni relations and development.

“Alumni continue to impact current student lives,” he said. “I would love to share the plans for this impressive new building with any alumni who want to help.”

Albion College is continuing its fundraising effort for the Richard and Marilyn Vitek Center for Musical Arts. To learn more, call 517/629-0446 or email advancement@albion.edu.