UNC Pembroke’s Moore Hall Auditorium has been a haven for great music for more than 60 years. The renovated concert hall was reopened and celebrated on August 26.
Over the summer, the 204-seat auditorium was stripped to its bones and renovated with new surfaces, seating, lighting and a fresh coat of honey-colored paint. It is home to approximately 100 events annually and countless practice sessions for the university’s musicians, choral groups and ensembles.
Ribbon Cut –The 204-seat Moore Hall Auditorium was re-opened in time for the start of the fall semester. Cutting the ribbon on the front row are from left: Dr. Tim Altman, chair of the Music Department, Chancellor Carter, his wife, Sarah and Dr. Ken Kitts, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. Behind them from left: music faculty Dr. Valerie Austin, Hal Davis and Dr. Beth Maisonpierre.
“Several of us here have very strong feelings about this performing arts space, and I am one,” said Chancellor Kyle R. Carter. “I have been wanting to renovate Moore Hall since I arrived on campus.”
Constructed in 1951 and dedicated to one of the university’s founders, W.L. Moore, several people with deep connections to UNCP. As Chancellor Carter noted: “Moore Hall is more than a place; it is part of our legacy.”
“We moved into this building my first year at the college,” said Mabel Cummings, a 1954 graduate and granddaughter of W.L. Moore. “The entire college could all sit together in there.”
Music major and 1958 graduate Mary Alice Teets had her junior and senior recitals in the auditorium. “We had three music majors then,” she said. “With this (renovated) auditorium, this looks more like a conservatory.”
Teets was joined at the ribbon cutting by several members of the Moore family in addition to Cummings, including W.L. Moore’s great grandchildren Lyn Sanderson, a 1979 graduate, and Luther Moore and Landon Richard Moore and Crystal Moore, who is a nurse practitioner in UNCP’s Student Health Center.
Moore Family – Moore Hall was dedicated in 1951 to W.L. Moore, one of the university’s founders and its first headmaster. On hand for the ribbon cutting were family members from left: Luther Moore, a great grandson; Crystal Moore; Landon Richard Moore, a great, great grandson; Lyn Sanderson, a great granddaughter; and Mabel Cummings, a granddaughter.
The Rev. W.L. Moore came to Robeson County selling Bibles. He married a local woman and helped found the university in 1887. He served as the first principal and as a founding member of the board of trustees. In UNCP’s history books, Rev. Moore is referred to as “founder, erector, teacher” for his many contributions.
Moore Hall Auditorium serves both the Music Department and the university as a multi-purpose stage for speakers, plays and meetings. The Givens Performing Arts Center, with 1,600 seats hosts larger events. GPAC Executive Director Patricia Fields attended the ribbon cutting and called the renovated auditorium “absolutely beautiful, a first-class performing space.
“I am so excited for our students and faculty,” Fields said. “This space is warm, comfortable and inviting.”
The faculty “love it,” said music faculty member Elizabeth Maisonpierre. “Our students deserve a venue like this to play in,” she said. “This is a place they can be proud to have family and friends come to hear them perform.”
All Dressed Up – The newly renovated Moore Hall shows off new seating, lighting, carpets and more.
The auditorium has all the finishing touches of an outstanding venue for the arts, including recessed lighting in the walls, LED floor lighting and doors designed to close silently. Adding to the warmth of the hall, both ceiling and seats are wood with a natural finish.
Music Department Chair Tim Altman said the auditorium hosts audiences of more than 10,000 annually and has a professional artist series.
“Moore Hall Auditorium is a great face to show the community,” Dr. Altman said. “When I show around prospective students and professionals, I will be proud to show them our auditorium,” he said. “The new auditorium is structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing.”
Dr. Ken Kitts, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said the renovated auditorium is worthy of UNCP’s outstanding music faculty and programs. “An institution of choice should have a first-class facility like this,” he said.
The renovations were completed in time for the start of classes. The project was designed by Jenkins Peer Architects of Charlotte, and the general contractor was Kevin Jacobs of Lumberton. UNCP architect Mike Clark and project manager Bobby Dean Locklear of the Office of Planning and Construction supervised the project.
The Moore Hall Recital Series kicks off on October 1 with a performance by Senza Misura, a duo of North Carolina artist: Catherine LeGrand, flute, and Kenneth Grigg, piano. Pianist Lawrence Quinnett will perform on October 21.
To learn more about music at UNCP, please contact the Music Department at (910) 521-6230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.