|The Canton Symphony Orchestra Makes Music More Accessible to Those with Hearing Loss
Those with hearing loss who may have avoided attending Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) events in the past now have good reason to reconsider. Through renovations to Umstattd Performing Arts Hall and the construction of the Zimmermann Symphony Center, hearing loops have been installed to allow those with hearing assistive devices to better enjoy the programs. In addition, an American Sign Language interpreter will be on hand for performances that feature choral works.
Both Umstattd Performing Arts Hall and the new Foundation Hall at the Zimmermann Symphony Center – 2331 17th Street NW, Canton – have now been equipped with Hearing Induction Loops provided by Nova Looping of Canton. The simple technology magnetically transmits sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoils allowing the devices to deliver clear, sharp sound right from inside the ears. The inclusion of this technology will make the orchestra performances, chamber concerts, and lectures given by the Orchestra more accessible to people with hearing difficulties. “The renovations to Umstattd Hall in 2012 provided the perfect opportunity to install the loop,” comments Michelle Mullaly, Executive Director of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. “After that, it really made sense for us to add it to Foundation Hall during construction of the Zimmemann Symphony Center.”
Umstattd Performing Arts Hall is home to the CSO’s MasterWorks classical series and Holiday Pops concert. It is also utilized by McKinley Senior High School’s performing arts departments, local colleges and other community organizations for commencement ceremonies and various performances throughout the year. Foundation Hall is a 2292 square foot reception room used for the orchestra’s ConverZations lecture series, Casual matinee concerts, and social gatherings.
The CSO is also partnering with a certified sign language interpreter for concerts on which vocalists will be performing. Tiffany Hamilton a member of TRIAD Deaf Services will be on hand opening night, October 5, to interpret pieces by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Howard Hanson. “I think it is a great idea for the orchestra to have an interpreter for concerts like this,” Hamilton stated. “Many people with hearing difficulties may be able to hear the changing pitches in the music and feel the vibrations, but may not be able to make out the actual words the vocalists are singing,” Hamilton explains.
Ms. Hamilton has been a professional sign language interpreter for over 20 years. She has a degree in American Sign Language from Kent State University and holds a National Interpreting Certification: Advanced level from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The CSO plans to also have Ms. Hamilton provide signing interpretation for the annual Holiday Pops concert on Dec. 7, 2014 and the final concert of the Beethoven Festival on April 29, 2015.
Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio (at McKinley High School across from C.T. Branin Natatorium). Parking at McKinley High School is free. For more information, please visit www.CantonSymphony.org.