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Four Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

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The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Randall Perry

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall was founded in 1875 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1989. The hall in downtown Troy is renowned for its acoustics – which, legend has it, surprisingly happened due to a musical installation. Here are four facts you likely never knew about this iconic edifice in the Collar City.

  1. The Hall's stage is sloped. There is a 5-inch difference from the back of the stage to the front of the stage.  This may have been designed this way to help with sightlines, and possibly to help the acoustics.
  2. In December 1990, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Isaac Stern, violinist Jamie Laredo, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed two free concerts at the Hall. They were in town to record at the Hall, and agreed to perform at the Music at Noon series. They quickly agreed to perform a second time when they were told another thousand people were still outside who hadn’t gotten in to see the first show. 
  3. The pipes that look out over the stage are purely decorative. The actually working pipes are behind them and were purchased from New York financier William Belden. When the 1882 Odell concert organ was being installed, the Hall had to call the Odell Organ Company (still in business today) to come in and redesign how the pipes could be installed because the original design was so big, the Hall initially couldn’t fit all the pipes in.
  4. And, as it happens, it is these organs that are particularly credited with the Hall’s famous acoustics. When the Hall opened in 1875, it received a less than favorable response from critics but legend has it that the installation of the organ in 1890 transformed the hall into the acoustic wonder that it is today.

What are some other facts you know about the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall?