Woolsey Hall
Woolsey Hall is the primary auditorium at Yale University. Woolsey Hall, which seats 2,695 people, was built as part of the Yale bicentennial celebration in 1901. The architects were Carrère and Hastings, designers of the New York Public Library. The ornately decorated hall is home to the Newberry Memorial Organ, one of the most renowned orchestral organs in North America. This hall serves as the main performance venue for the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Bands, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia, the Yale Glee Club, and many smaller, student-run ensembles such as a cappella singing groups and the Davenport Pops Orchestra. Woolsey Hall's murals represent the ideal of a classical education and include images on the nine muses and the goddess Athena. They reflect the age when Yale was an all-male college. The vestibule contains memorials to sons of Yale who lost their lives in the World Wars. The hall's lack of draperies, carpeting and upholstered seats all contribute to its superior acoustics for musical performance, though the acoustics work far more in favor of the organ than for other sounds. Woolsey Hall predates any major studies within the field of acoustics, so aside from its large size, rectangular shape, hard surfaces and high vaulted ceiling, it has no peculiar architectural properties that contribute positively to its sound. Some student musicians at Yale, especially choral singers, resent Woolsey's muddy resonance, which easily obscures text and delicate timbres, and can make it difficult to hear oneself on stage. One seat on the first balcony was reputedly made extra large to accommodate Yale's ultimate "big man on campus," trustee William Howard Taft.

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