From 1992 to 1999, Kirkegaard contributed to a comprehensive reworking of the facilities for the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. The first step was the conversion of a 100-year-old gymnasium into the Dieterle Vocal Arts Center, with a choral rehearsal room, choral teaching studios, and a large opera rehearsal room. Next was the conversion of a 1920s dormitory into teaching studios and practice rooms. The adjacent 1960s music and theater building was then lightly renovated and enhanced with the addition of dance studios and a new scene shop.
Corbett Auditorium, CCM’s primary performance venue, was a drab, scale-less 750-seat proscenium theater clad in Formica and suffering from a clattery, overbright sound. A thorough renovation within the shell of the existing hall added seating boxes and replaced the Formica with acoustically transparent wood dowels and strategically placed diffusive elements, adding warmth and clarity to the room’s sound. The room is CCM’s primary venue for opera and orchestral concerts.
The final step was the replacement of Mary Emery Hall with a new three-story building over a parking garage. In addition to a variety of classrooms, rehearsal rooms, offices, and teaching studios, the building houses the beautiful 250-seat Werner recital hall, a 100-seat Master Classroom, and the elegant flexible theater, the 120-seat Cohen Family Studio Theater, used for drama, musical theater, and opera.