April 5, 2011
President James L. Edwards and the Anderson University board of trustees are pleased to announce the planned construction of the Performance Hall and Galleries project. The approximately 24,000 square-foot facility, with an estimated cost of approximately $4 million, will adjoin the existing Krannert Fine Arts Building, bringing together classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and the new performance venue. The performance hall project will be designed to be a flexible performance space for many ensembles, solo student performances, and guest artists visiting Anderson University. The facility will seat approximately 400 in the audience and a choral loft area in an intimate setting.
“The performance hall project adds a significant dimension to the outstanding programs found in the School of Music,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “The lead gift for this project has come from Dr. James York and Dr. Elizabeth York. These great friends of Anderson University have lifted our vision for what we can accomplish toward a bold and vibrant future in several of our outstanding programs.”
The Performance Hall and Galleries project is a part of the $110 million Dreams. Discovery. Direction. campaign for Anderson University. The campaign is the largest fundraising effort in the university’s history. To date the campaign has raised $97 million. Major components of the campaign include $51 million for capital projects, $34 million for endowment, and $25 million for operational support.
“We are so grateful for the commitment and support of the York family,” said Bob Coffman, vice president for advancement at Anderson University. “This new facility will provide a world-class environment in which our students and faculty will perform. Through their generosity, Dr. James and Dr. Elizabeth York are making a significant difference in the lives our students.”
Dr. James and Dr. Elizabeth York have given of their time and resources to make a difference in people’s lives. Their giving spirit was what convinced the couple that Dr. James York should retire early from his practice of orthopedic surgery so that they could work in mission hospitals throughout Africa. It also prompted them to contribute to the Harry L. and Henrietta Harp Endowed Memorial Fund at Anderson University. And it is one of the primary reasons they created the James M. York, M.D., and Elizabeth H. York Endowed Scholarship Fund through the Anderson University School of Theology. The Yorks also provided resources for the York Seminary Village project at AU and the York Children’s Book Collection within the Nicholson Library.
The architectural firm of KRM in Anderson is designing the project. Contractors managing the 18-month construction of the facility — targeted to begin in early summer 2011 — will be announced at a later date pending a further review and evaluation of project costs and projected gift income by the Executive Committee of the AU board of trustees.
It is anticipated that the new facility will support a permanent gallery space for the Warner Sallman Art Collection at Anderson University as well as an additional gallery space for other specialized art collections owned by the institution. Anderson University maintains a website dedicated to Sallman’s work — www.warnersallman.org.
The Performance Hall and Galleries project is designed to be an acoustically superior venue that will give proper recognition to the work of students, faculty members, and guest artists. The architectural and acoustical design of the facility will enhance the nationally recognized programs of the School of Music. The hall will be carefully constructed and shaped to ensure that music is heard and experienced in powerful and moving ways.
“This is a project that we have been anticipating for a long time that we feel will have a significant impact on the growth and development of the School of Music,” said Dr. Jeff Wright, dean of the School of Music at Anderson University. “All of us in the School of Music are very excited about the impact that the performance hall will have on our work and the development of students.”
The Performance Hall and Galleries project will feature orchestra space for 45 musicians, a choir loft for 75 voices, and an advanced acoustical design. The main floor of the facility will accommodate approximately 250 seats while the balcony space will support approximately 75 seats. A large lobby with glass walls will provide natural light and wide views of campus — providing an ideal setting for greeting guests and hosting receptions.
The School of Music is one of the largest and strongest academic units on the campus of Anderson University. Graduates perform in some of the most prestigious venues in the world, including The Metropolitan Opera in New York City and La Scala Theatre in Milan. Graduates are also teaching in some of the strongest school systems in the nation, leading music ministries in important churches, sharing their artistic vision through all facets of the music industry, and pursuing graduate degrees from prominent universities.
“As a performing artist, I understand the importance of a performance hall in creating a venue where the expression of art can be realized,” said Lawrence Brownlee, a 1996 alumnus of Anderson University and a world renowned bel canto tenor. “It also provides an intimate space where the acoustics and atmosphere contribute to an experience that both listeners and performers can enjoy. For those students who will go on to have performing careers, it is vital for them to understand the setting in which their performances will take place. The performance hall has many possibilities, and I am sure it will benefit the Anderson community in countless ways.”
All current Anderson University music students and alumni share one thing in common. They perform as soloists and as members of musical ensembles during their years at AU. Each week, the School of Music hosts multiple performances that showcase the artistry of student musicians. In addition, the School of Music presents performances by faculty members and guest artists, many of whom are featured in a special Thursday Night Concert Series which attracts significant audiences from the campus and community. In short, the School of Music boasts an active performance calendar that will be support by the new performance hall.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.
Source: Anderson University