Creative Composition Baldwin-Wallace College updates Conservatory of Music with historic renovation, new construction project By Mark Watt | Photos by Scott Pease F or more than a century, aspiring music performers and educators have come to Baldwin-Wallace College to pursue undergraduate degrees within its noted Conservatory of Music. In fact, of its current enrollment, more than half have relocated to Northeast Ohio from out of state, accord-ing to George Richard, director of college relations at B-W. Why? Largely to take advantage of the music program’s numerous benefits, such as a nationally recognized music theater program, a faculty that includes members of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra and other professional ensembles, plus a host of resources, from the oldest Collegiate Bach festival in America and a well regarded scholarly music library to collaborative opportunities with Playhouse Square. as a men’s dormitory, was packed with administrative offices and library space. Educational spaces were also tight next door at Kulas Hall, home to the conser-vatory’s two major performance spaces, Fanny Nast Gamble Auditorium and Fynette Kulas Chamber Music Hall. Kulas Hall also housed student practice rooms filled with students into the wee hours of the morning, competing to find a space to play their instruments while not competing with the larger performance venues. “In addition to the 300 college stu-dents, we have an additional 2,000 community members who take lessons and classes as part of our community outreach program,” says Bryan Bowser, assistant director. “The burden was huge. We were out of space.” That’s no longer the case. Late this summer, as students and faculty within www.propertiesmag.com 57 “This is a world-class music program,” Richard says. “We’re competing with the finest conservatories around the country.” The only problem was that students and faculty were running out of room in recent years. Until this fall, much of the music program’s operations resided within a pair of connected buildings – Merner-Pfeiffer Hall and Kulas Hall – at the college’s campus in Berea. Merner-Pfeiffer, originally built in 1939
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