The Belhaven University Center for the Arts opened in August 2002. Located just a block from the main campus on Riverside Drive, the facility was formerly Riverside Independent Methodist Church.

The Center is currently occupied by the music and theatre departments, as well as administrative offices. Initial renovations have provided for new piano and computer labs, soundproofed practice rooms, a modified black box theatre, costuming and technical design areas, and numerous teaching studios, classrooms, faculty offices and performance space.

The former church sanctuary now serves as the Concert Hall, which seats 800 and is the location of weekly chapel services. The former church parlor serves as the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall.

The Center for the Arts is also used by various community groups as a venue for concerts, lectures and other gatherings.

Center for the Arts Facilities

Large yet intimate, the 800 seat Concert Hall in the Belhaven University Center for the Arts is acoustically splendid and visually inspiring. A lofty ceiling and beautiful stained-glass windows adorn this first-rate concert venue. Permanent instruments include a new 9' Steinway Grand Piano and Rodgers Digital Concert Organ.

With regular performances by Belhaven University ensembles, frequent performances by the Mississippi Symphony and other local artists, and occasional performances of international recognition; Belhaven students enjoy a kaleidoscope of concert experiences.

The concert of Van Cliburn Award winner Stanislav Ioudenitch marked the auspicious opening of this performance hall. Equipped with state of the art technology, the Concert Hall can be used for cinematic and multimedia presentations. It is also a place where the campus community can come together for worship during weekly chapel services.

The Music Computer Lab introduces students to the amazing musical potential of cyber technology. Finale, an industry standard in score writing, allows students to compose music, from pieces of simple texture to pieces of symphonic proportions, and then listen to synthesized performances of their work using MIDI technology. Finale also enables students to produce hard copies of their compositions in a publishable form.

Music Lessons software assists budding musicians in their task of ear training, a discipline that requires them to "hear with their eyes and see with their ears." Cakewalk, an industry standard for sequencing software, allows students to experiment in composing soundtracks using the technology favored by contemporary and popular music producers.

Belhaven Music believes that it is vital for students to be introduced to the technology that is revolutionizing the music industry.

Music students are trained in studios with excellent acoustical properties and quality instruments. These well-appointed studio spaces are the envy of professional musicians who visit the Belhaven University campus.

The Belhaven music suite features state-of-the-art Wenger practice modules. These soundproof rooms allow focused practice without the annoying distraction of hearing others practicing nearby.

One of the rooms is equipped with V- technology, a synthesized acoustical environment that can simulate the sound properties of many distinctive acoustical environments, a quality most helpful to singers. New, high quality, grand and studio pianos are provided for student practice.

The Instrumental Rehearsal Hall is a visually attractive rehearsal space, which can also double as a small performance venue when needed. It has seating for up 80 people.

This space is ideal for band and orchestra rehearsals as well as master classes, seminars, chamber rehearsals, and small recitals. The hall includes a 7' Steinway concert grand.

The West Foyer is one of several natural entryways into the Center for the Arts. Well appointed, it functions as lobby for the Arts Division, as well as a reception area for chamber concerts and workshops.

This 200 seat fully flexible space is the pinnacle of the Belhaven University Theatre Department. The theatre is 54' x 56' with 220' of walk along curtains broken into 11 separate pieces. It has a 23' high grid on 5' centers.

The control deck has a complete audio station and lighting station with an ETC Express 24/48 lighting console and 48 channels of Electrol Engineering dxl25 dimmers. Instrument inventory includes 20 Altman 65Q's, 20 ETC Source Fours (19, 26, and 36 degree), and by next year an additional set of 6 ETC Pars.

Our wardrobe room includes three double- tiered racks for costume storage, accessories shelving for shoes, wigs, and hats, as well as a washer, dryer, and dye sink. We even have a built-in exhaust fan to eliminate fumes when dyeing fabrics.

The wardrobe room shows a partial shot of our catalogued inventory. Wigs and hats are on the back shelves, while accessories are on the right side shelving. A unique feature is a specially designed blower and exterior vent to prevent mildew and mold from affecting the inventory. This room is adjacent to the costume room in the performing arts facility.

Our costume shop has plenty of natural light and includes an industrial straight stitch machine, four desktop machines, one serger, two pin-able cutting tables (capable of sticking pins into), dress molds, a wash sink, several irons, and all the fabric and notions needed to develop, alter, or build costumes.

This first picture of the costume shop shows a dress mold with a student designed costume for Mabel in Pirates of Penzance. It is in yellow and white with red piping. The skeleton mold has the blue wizard costume from Once Upon a Mattress. Note the muslin fabric roll mounted on the wall, a costume on the far wall rack and costume sketches on the bulletin board. Two cutting tables are evident with one costume pinned to it in cutting phase. A heavy duty industrial sewing machine is on the left by the file cabinet.

This next picture shows a reverse angle with four sewing stations and two surgers. An ironing board is also standing on the left side of the shot.

This wonderful addition to our department includes a 9" band saw, a hot wire Styrofoam cutter, two workbenches, a large wash basin, hot glue guns, paints, sander, Dremel tool, and many different types of hand tools necessary for the design and manufacture of props. This room is also where we store our hand props.

Our inventory is too large to list. We have enough of most items needed to dress the shows that make up the staple of English theatre and beyond.

Pictured are some of our shelving inventory, some weapons and goblets under construction, the hot wire unit for cutting Styrofoam and a band saw on the back table by the windows. The shop has a stainless steel sink for cleanup.

The design lab includes three CAD capable computer stations with software for desktop publishing, photo editing, video editing and illustration, sound editing software for the building of short, in-house films, and sound cues for productions. We also boast a 24-inch, CMYK plotter for printing out anything from plans and elevations to our own production posters. The design lab also contains four drafting tables and a large wash sink to clean up from model building, design sketches, and other design tasks.

The pictures below shows the four traditional design stations with drafting tools and projects. Our students have hands-on experience with designing props, costumes, lighting, and set.

These photos also show our computer assisted design lab with three work stations and a plotter. These computers are capable of designing props, lighting, costumes, sets, theatre spaces. In addition, individual computers are equipped to edit digital video programs, construct sound tracks using computer effects or SFX discs, design publicity packages, flyers and posters, and integrate with our computer boards in the theatres for lighting and sound cues.

Verse of the Year

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Philippians 2:13