In all of its blazing-hot glory, summer can be a major bummer. And when the air conditioning went kaput at the MusicGarage’s previous location on 1700 South in the middle of July this year, the sweltering heat was enough to make program founder/director Steve Auerbach seek out some new digs—again.
Began in 2009 as an after-school program housed in a 12-foot-by-12-foot room at the Utah Arts Alliance, the MusicGarage now is located at 250 W. 1300 South, just west of the 1300 South Trax station. The building’s previous use as an appliance-repair store—“This place had more lint in the ducts than you can ever imagine,” Auerbach says—might seem like a far cry from anything music-related, but with its spacious layout and convenient location, it’s perfect for the big plans he has in mind for the space.
Describing it as a multifunction, multipurpose music venue and “musicians resource center,” Auerbach says the newly renovated 190-capacity, 2,700-square-foot building features a full sound system, a digital light system, a stage, a production/green room and several other rooms than can be divided into areas for local teachers to hold individual music lessons. The entire space can also be rented for private events—bar service is available by request—to those looking for a spot to host a wedding reception or wanting to shoot a high-quality video of a live performance by their band without a crowd of strangers jostling the camera.
Auerbach says he’d also like to open the stage to more than just music acts, including comedy, theater and spoken-word performances, as well as feature local art in the foyer—complete with gallery-style track lighting.
Despite all the changes, though, the MusicGarage is still a music-education program at its core, devoted to providing accessible—through a sliding-scale fee system and scholarship fund—high-quality, creativity-nurturing musical instruction. All genres of music are taught, and the group sessions promote collaboration. While MusicGarage is known most for teaching kids, adults are welcome to come and learn as well, at future classes like the adult jam session—which Auerbach opens to start next year—and the rock & roll choir, which will start in January and be open to all ages.
To celebrate the grand opening of the new building, a private party/concert will be held at the MusicGarage on Friday, Nov. 22, featuring local bands Minx and Cavedoll and MusicGarage graduate bands The Departure and Cosmic Aeroplane. To get on the guest list, RSVP on Facebook or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auerbach says the MusicGarage is essential to the students’ musical development, and gives the kids “a place where they can fit in, a place where they can belong. And all of this becomes like sacred ground for them.”
250 W. 1300 South