War Memorial Auditorium Gets Sound Upgrade For 88th Birthday

Pictured above, Mumford & Sons perform to a packed house at WMA.

Pictured above, Mumford & Sons perform to a packed house at WMA.

Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium, which celebrates its 88th birthday this month, has been outfitted with a state-of-the-art sound system by Brantley. The new upgrades were designed to accentuate the venue’s natural acoustics and provide an optimum listening experience for concert-goers.

“War Memorial Auditorium was built at a time when there were not a lot of amplification devices available, so the walls and hard surfaces were designed acoustically and architecturally to carry the sound naturally,” said Brent Hyams, chief operating officer for War Memorial Auditorium. “With the new technology, we can augment the natural acoustics, amplify the sound and make sure that every corner of the room–from the balcony to the floor seats–provides an incredible concert experience.”

The venue’s sound system upgrade includes permanent rigging points to fly the sound system, a line array speaker system that provides directional sound, stage drapery to eliminate sound reflection, and absorption panels all around the venue and on the ceiling. Additional upgrades will roll out over the next few months.

The War Memorial Auditorium was originally built to honor the 3400 Tennesseans who died in World War I and has been the performance home for the Nashville Symphony and the Grand Ole Opry. Performers like Ray Charles, KISS, David Bowie, and the Eagles have all crossed its stage at one point or another over the past eight decades, and Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers recently filmed the video for their new song, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” at the concert hall. It was host to the Music City Eats Festival’s Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Petty Fest tribute concert last weekend, and the upcoming feature film The Identical, which stars Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta, also shot scenes at the legendary venue.

War Memorial Auditorium was given the Gold Medal Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Institute of Architecture.

War Memorial Auditorium was given the Gold Medal Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Institute of Architecture.

Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium has rocked audiences for years, bringing performances by legendary music artists from Ray Charles, Roy Acuff and Elvis Costello to Hollywood starlets and presidential candidates Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy, who gave speeches on the courtyard steps.

Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium has rocked audiences for years, bringing performances by music artists from Ray Charles, Roy Acuff and Elvis Costello to Hollywood starlets and presidential candidates Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy, who gave speeches on the courtyard steps.

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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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