Nearly two out ten Americans suffer from some kind of hearing loss and The Canton Symphony has decided to do something about it. For those who have avoided coming to a symphony performance due to loss of hearing, there have been new renovations done to Umstattd Performing Arts Hall and the Zimmerman Symphony Center that include hearing loops that have been installed to allow those with hearing assistive devices to better enjoy the programs. Along with the renovations, the performances will also have an American Sign Language interpreter on hand for performances that feature choral works.
The Canton Symphony Orchestra recently completed massive renovations to the performing arts hall that is located at 2331 17th Street in Canton, Ohio. One of the renovations was the installation of Hearing Induction Loops (provided by Nova Looping of Canton) that magnetically transmits clear and sharp sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoils. With this innovation orchestra performances, chamber concerts and lectures given by the Orchestra will be 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 Zimmermann Symphony Center.”
Along with the new devices, CSO has partnered with a certified sign language interpreter who will be present for any concert that vocalists will be performing. Tiffany Hamilton (a member of TRIAD Deaf Services) will be on hand on October 5, 2014 (opening night) in order to interpret the works 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.
About the Canton Symphony Orchestra
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.
About Umstattd Performing Arts Hall
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.