Construction began Tuesday, Feb. 21, on a new rehearsal hall for members of the New Orleans Musicians Union. The groundbreaking ceremony marked the end of nearly a year’s worth of planning and design following the union’s relocation from Esplanade Avenue to Ursulines Avenue.
“It will be an important asset to our organization to offer a state-of- the-art venue designed with acoustics in mind to accommodate members’ rehearsal and recording needs,” said AFM Local 174-496 President Deacon John Moore.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of architect Sam Bavido, Esplanade Studios owner Misha Kachkachishvili and Galaforo Construction and the union’s Board of Directors, the new space will be flexible, offering members a venue for practice, recording and meeting needs throughout the year. Access to the space will be free during business hours for all members in good standing.
Once the hall is up and running later this year, members will be able to reserve space through the website by clicking on the “rehearsal request” line on the left blue sidebar of the site or by calling the office during business hours.
On hand to help break ground on the new hall last month were Alphe Williams (Board of Directors), Eddie Bayard (union member), Kim Foreman (Sec.-Treasurer), Paul Galaforo (President, Galaforo Construction Company), Deacon John Moore (President AFM Local 174-496), Kerry Brown (Board of Directors), Sam Bavido (architect), Peter Cho (Board of Directors), Angela Dunn (Board of Directors) and Frank Mayes (Board of Directors).
We look forward to sharing more updates on the construction as they become available. For a quick refresher on fees for member-sponsored, non-union musicians, weekend and night rehearsal hall use and more details, please visit the rehearsal request page.