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Facilities

Most of the Yale Music campus is located in the block bounded by College, Wall, Temple, and Elm streets. Abby and Mitch Leigh Hall, at 435 College Street, reopened in 2005 after a year of renovations. This beautiful building was built in 1930 in the Gothic style as the University’s health center and has been thoroughly updated and modernized. It houses numerous faculty studios, the dean’s office, and three classrooms.

Albert Arnold Sprague Memorial Hall, at the corner of College and Wall streets, reopened in the fall of 2003 after two years of extensive renovations. The first floor houses the admissions, business, concert, and registrar’s offices and the Fred Plaut Recording Studio, a fully equipped professional digital recording facility. Morse Recital Hall, located on the second and third floors, has a seating capacity of 680, and its stage accommodates eighty musicians. It is the School of Music’s primary performance venue. On the top floor are a studio for the music director of the Philharmonia and a multimedia classroom.

The Adams Center for Musical Arts, which opened in January 2017, connects Leigh Hall and the newly renovated Hendrie Hall by way of a new structure that includes a student commons with a four-story atrium. For the first time, musicians from the School of Music and Yale College can come together and interact as one community. The complex is a state-of-the-art facility with enhanced acoustics and the latest instructional technology in all spaces. The Adams Center’s three-story soundstage-like orchestra rehearsal hall is the first home that the Yale Philharmonia and Yale Symphony Orchestra have had at Yale. In addition to entirely new facilities, the Adams Center boasts magnificently reimagined spaces in Hendrie Hall, including those that are home to Yale’s undergraduate ensembles—the Yale Glee Club and Yale Bands—and, from YSM, the Yale Opera and Yale Percussion Group. The large ensemble rooms are utilized for classes and various rehearsals. The Adams Center also houses an Ensemble Library for all resident ensembles and the deputy dean’s office. Twenty-six new practice studios and six classrooms provide space in which YSM and Yale College students can meet, study, practice, and rehearse chamber music. Combining the space in Leigh Hall, the preexisting space in Hendrie Hall, and the space in the new structure, the Adams Center totals 88,604 gross square feet.

Gustave Stoeckel Hall, directly across College Street from Sprague Hall, was named after Yale’s first professor of music in 1954 and is home to the Yale Department of Music. The only Venetian Gothic structure on campus, Stoeckel Hall was completely renovated and expanded in 2008 and reopened in January of 2009.

The Louis Sudler Recital Hall in William L. Harkness Hall, adjacent to Sprague Hall, seating audiences of two hundred, is available for recitals, chamber music concerts, and lectures.

The Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, located in its own building at 15 Hillhouse Avenue, was constructed in 1894 in the Romanesque revival style out of reddish-brown Connecticut sandstone. The collection contains nearly one thousand instruments, of which the majority document the Western European art music tradition, especially the period from 1550 to 1950. The instruments are on display in three galleries and in additional exhibit space in the foyer and hall areas. Permanent exhibits are maintained in the first-floor-east gallery and in the second-floor gallery, which is also used as a concert room noted for its fine acoustics.

Two other buildings complete the music complex. Woolsey Hall is used by the School of Music and other musical organizations for concerts by large instrumental ensembles and choruses. This impressive Beaux Arts structure, built in 1901 to celebrate the University’s bicentennial, is home to the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Concert Band, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Yale Glee Club. The hall has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 2,667 and houses the Newberry Memorial Organ. The building provides additional organ practice rooms in the basement.

The Institute of Sacred Music has offices, classrooms, and practice rooms in Sterling Divinity Quadrangle at 409 Prospect Street. At the heart of the complex is Marquand Chapel, the center of daily worship for the community. Extensively renovated in recent years, it is home to an E.M. Skinner organ as well as a Baroque-style meantone Krigbaum Organ by Taylor & Boody. These instruments, the acoustics, and the flexible seating arrangements make Marquand Chapel a unique performance space at Yale.

Since 1941, the grounds of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate in Norfolk, Connecticut, have been the home of the Yale Summer School of Music and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. The Music Shed, an acoustical marvel constructed in 1906 of cedar and redwood, is the site of the festival’s concerts. It seats seven hundred, and behind the stage is a choir loft that can accommodate a two-hundred-voice chorus. The first two phases of a historic renovation project have been completed, giving the Music Shed new siding and a new roof, a restored cupola, and improved ventilation. Whitehouse, originally the Battell family mansion, began as an eight-room house in 1800 and was enlarged periodically over the next hundred years, eventually becoming a thirty-five-room mansion. It was completely redone in Victorian style during the early years of the twentieth century and underwent structural renovation in 2012. At the entrance to the estate, Battell House contains a small recital hall, cafeteria, administrative offices, and box office. Numerous other buildings on the estate provide housing, practice and rehearsal rooms, and studios for students and faculty.

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Libraries

The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library contains approximately 121,000 scores and parts for musical performance and study; 81,000 books about music; 43,000 compact discs and LP recordings; 1,500 DVDs and videotapes; 11,600 microforms of music manuscripts and scores; 45,000 pieces of sheet music; 95,000 photographs; 4,000 linear feet of archival materials; 650 individual music manuscripts not forming a portion of a larger collection; 425 active subscriptions to music periodicals; and numerous electronic databases of books, scores, audio, and video. The collection has been designed for scholarly study and reference, as well as to meet the needs of performing musicians. Fundamental to both purposes are the great historical sets and collected editions of composers’ works, of which the library possesses all significant publications. Special areas of collecting include theoretical literature of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries; chamber works of all periods for various instrumental combinations; an extensive collection of musical iconography, including 35,000 photos in the Fred Plaut Archives; the Galeazzi collection of Italian manuscripts; the manuscripts and papers of Leroy Anderson, Daniel Asia, Paul Bekker, Lehman Engel, Henry Gilbert, Benny Goodman, John Hammond, Thomas de Hartmann, Vladimir Horowitz, J. Rosamond Johnson, John Kirkpatrick, Ralph Kirkpatrick, Benjamin Lees, Goddard Lieberson, Ted Lewis, Red Norvo, Harold Rome, Carl Ruggles, E. Robert Schmitz, Franz Schreker, Robert Shaw, Kay Swift, Deems Taylor, Alec Templeton, Virgil Thomson, and Kurt Weill; the manuscripts of Leo Ornstein and Hershy Kay; and the works of noted composers formerly associated with Yale University as teachers or students. The last-named area includes the complete manuscript collection of Charles E. Ives, B.A. 1898; the collection of documents concerning Paul Hindemith’s career in the United States; and the complete papers and manuscripts of David Stanley Smith, Horatio Parker, Richard Donovan, Quincy Porter, David Kraehenbuehl, Howard Boatwright, and Mel Powell. The library also houses the extensive Lowell Mason Library of Church Music, noted for its collection of early American hymn and tune books. Individual manuscript holdings include autograph manuscripts of J.S. Bach, Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt. The Historical Sound Recordings Collection, comprising approximately 280,000 recordings from the birth of recorded sound to the present, includes unique private recordings and test pressings. The Oral History of American Music has created a collection of more than 2,600 in-depth interviews with major musical figures of our time.

Access to the Music Library’s holdings is available through Orbis, the Yale library’s online catalog. All of the Music Library’s published scores, books, and compact discs have been entered into the Orbis database. Access to some recordings, microforms, and manuscript materials is only available in the specialized card catalogs. Patrons should seek staff assistance in using these catalogs. Finding aids for one hundred archival collections have been entered into the Yale University Library Finding Aid Database.

Collections in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, particularly the Frederick R. Koch Collection, the Speck Collection of Goethiana, the Yale Collection of American Literature, and the Osborn Collection, also hold valuable music materials. Students in the School of Music may also use the facilities of any of the other University libraries, which have a total collection of more than fifteen million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books to electronic databases.

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