Open House celebrates new Music Building

Music Building

Staff, faculty and students are invited to “Opus 2010: A New Home for Music at Penn,” a themed open house on Friday, April 16, to celebrate Penn’s newly renovated and expanded Music Building. The event runs from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Department of Music, 201 S. 34th St.

Rebecca Bushnell, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, will deliver remarks and Penn jazz and chamber music ensembles and soloists will perform. Refreshments will also be served.

The new building addresses several structural problems that had long troubled its predecessor. Built in the 19th century, the old building –- once a home for orphaned girls –- had outlived its usefulness as a suitable home for music teaching, learning and performing. Acoustics were subpar, forcing students and faculty to rely on other rehearsal rooms around campus.

Targeted for Silver LEED certification as Penn’s first “green” academic building, the redesigned structure boasts a computer lab, a state-of-the-art recording studio, three new acoustically isolated classrooms and nine practice rooms.

An architectural gem in both design and sustainability, the building underwent a $15.3 million facelift by Ann Beha Architects with contractor Daniel J. Keating Company of Narberth.

“This extra space frees up some of the larger rehearsal rooms in Fisher-Bennett Hall, giving more of our chamber groups, jazz combos and directors of those groups suitable places to do some serious rehearsing,” says Michael Ketner, director of performance in the Music Department. “We look forward to being able to use at least one of the new classrooms as a small recital space for students interested in doing some solo performing.”

Originally published on April 15, 2010