C.W. Davis Concert Hall

A History

Built in the mid 1970’s as part of the university’s expansion, the Concert Hall is the jewel of the Fine Arts Complex which included new facilities for the Art, Music, and Theatre Departments of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. It has a capacity of over 900 seats and is considered by many to be the best acoustical venue in the state of Alaska for non amplified concerts. Since its opening, it has been the resident home of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and the Arctic Chamber Orchestra as well as the home venue for many concerts and recitals produced by the University of Alaska Music Department. It is also host to many visiting lecturers, artists and performers from around the world. Recently, the Hall has been upgraded with handicapped access and seating. On November 4th, 1984, the Fine Arts Concert Hall was renamed the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall. The dedicatory plaque outside the center Box Office reads:

“Charles W. Davis Concert Hall – Named in honor of Charles W. Davis, Professor Emeritus of Music of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. From his arrival in Fairbanks in 1963 and since his retirement in 1979, Professor Davis has contributed significantly to the musical life of this campus and the Fairbanks community. In recognition of his many artistic and academic contributions, this Concert Hall is named for Charles W. Davis and is dedicated this 4th day of November, 1984.”

The Davis Concert Hall houses a pipe organ built for the University of Alaska Fairbanks by the Gress-Miles Organ Company of Princeton, New Jersey. Installed between June 1982 and June 1983, the organ was designed by G. Edgar Gress, Vice President and Tonal Director of the Gress-Miles Company, in consultation with Dr. David Stech of the UAF Music Department. The organ is controlled from a three-manual draw-knob type console constructed of American Walnut with Brazilian Mahogany surrounding the keyboard and stop jamb area. The console controls the valve mechanisms by use of electro-mechanical action with solid state switching. Low wind pressure and classic voicing is used throughout, with a few ranks designed in nineteenth century style. The instrument consists of forty-four ranks (rows of pipes), sixty-six stops and 2471 pipes. The inaugural performance with orchestra occurred on October 23, 1983. The featured work was the Saint-Saens Symphony No.3 in C Minor with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gordon Wright and Dave Stech at the console.

Symphony FAQ

Tips for attending the Symphony

Since all Symphony concerts are either after 5pm or on the weekend, you may park in any available open space on campus surrounding the Fine Arts Complex without the need of a parking pass or meter fees. For a map, visit our contact page. For a campus map showing all parking lots, click here.
No! One of the great joys of going to a Fairbanks Symphony concert is being introduced to a great piece of music you’ve never heard before, or listening to a superb performance of a piece you haven’t heard in years. Some regular concert-goers do find they appreciate the performance more if they listen to a recording of the piece before the concert, so they can better anticipate their favorite parts, or listen for virtuoso playing of the more difficult passages. And many audience members find it enhances their enjoyment of the music if they take the time before the performance to read the notes in the program about the composer and the pieces that are to be played.
The Fairbanks Symphony requests that you turn off all cell phones, pagers, beeping watches, and other electronic devices before the performance begins – and that you check to see that they are again turned off after the intermission, before the second half of the performance begins. In addition, keep in mind that this is a live concert. Noise of any kind – talking, whispering, coughing, unwrapping candies, rustling pages of programs – can be distracting to the musicians, and diminish the audience’s enjoyment of the music. No photo-taking or use of recording devices is allowed in the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall at any time.
We suggest you arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the concert is scheduled to begin. That will give you ample time to find your seat, relax, read the Program Notes, and watch the musicians as they take the stage. Fairbanks Symphony concerts begin promptly at the announced starting time. Ticketholders who come late will not be seated in the hall until after the conclusion of the first work on the program. Concertgoers who must leave the hall before or during the playing of a piece will not be reseated until after that piece is concluded. In consideration of the performers and fellow concertgoers, we ask that you remain in your seat until the concert has ended.
Maestro Zilberkant gives a pre-concert lecture at all concerts with the exception of the Holiday concerts and Thursday evening recitals. Come early (3PM) and listen as the Maestro explains the composers, history, and music of the program to come.
There are two reasons to applaud at a Fairbanks Symphony concert: as a greeting, and to show appreciation. Just before the concert begins, the orchestra members will all be seated on the stage, except for the Concertmaster – the violinist who sits in the first chair of the first row of the orchestra. You applaud to greet the Concertmaster when he or she comes onstage. You applaud again a few moments later when the conductor comes onstage. Any soloists who will be performing will usually come onstage with the conductor; you applaud to greet the soloist or soloists as well. You do not applaud again until the end of each piece of music, to show your appreciation to the performers. Some longer pieces may have several sections, or movements, separated by a brief, silent pause. The audience does not applaud between movements of a piece. The program will list the movements in each piece, so you will know how many there are; applause is usually reserved for the end of the last movement.
If you have to leave a concert before its end, please do so between program works. Please note: Because not all concerts will have additional pauses between works or an intermission, you may not be able to re-enter the hall after you depart.
Program length varies, but a typical FSO performance lasts about two hours, including one intermission. Most other events run about the same length, some a little shorter, some a little longer. You can always call us at 907-474-5733 for an estimated length.
Attending a concert at Davis Concert Hall is always a special occasion; therefore, most patrons enjoy dressing up a bit. Today’s standards for business formal dress or business casual dress are both acceptable for concerts at the Hall. Shorts and t-shirts are discouraged. After all, the musicians will be wearing their finest (tuxedos or suits on the men and gowns on the women). It is also recommended that patrons refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes so as not to distract the patrons sitting around you.

Concerto Winners Concert

February 18th at 4PM.