When the Music Building opened in 1972, it was designed for an enrolment of 400 students. Today, the Don Wright Faculty of Music is home to approximately 650 graduate and undergraduate students.
In need of space, Western undertook an ambitious project to raise funds to renovate and expand the existing Music Building. Western invested $20.75 million, with $2 million promised to be raised through donor support.
The 69,000 square feet of usable space is bright, modern and a place in which any aspiring musician would be glad to hone their skills. With new teaching studios, practice rooms and rehearsal spaces available to students, the building hosts a growing number of student concerts and events, as well as faculty and guest artists’ performances, masterclasses and lectures each year.
It is housed in the newly built, 232-seat von Kuster Hall, home to more than 270 performances each year between September and May. The hall is the performance venue of choice for faculty, guest artists, and masterclasses, and the primary performance space for undergraduate and graduate credit recitals. The new Music Building also houses an additional intimate 48-seat recital hall providing additional space for credit recitals, lecture recitals and masterclasses.
Don Wright Faculty of Music Dean, Betty Anne Younker, says the project was a wonderful opportunity to work with Music supporters to accomplish a shared vision.
“With the support of our alumni and friends, together we’ve created a first-class learning and performance facility that will support the needs of our students today, and tomorrow.”