Get to know the Jacobs School of Music



The Jacobs School of Music is a staple at IU-Bloomington, but not everyone gets to experience what it’s like to work and play in those hallowed halls. Here are some of the key buildings connected with the school.

David H Jacobs West Terrace and Plaza

Located near the music school, there is a large musical note on the ground.

Surrounded by the Musical Arts Center, the Simon Recital Hall and the music addition building, the David H. Jacobs West Terrace and Plaza serves as a supported role for music geeks quietly.

David H. Jacobs is a big supporter of IU’s music school. The Jacobs School of Music is named in honor of this gentleman, who donated $40.6 million to the music school. David H. Jacobs West Terrace and Plaza was also a gift from Barbara, Jacobs’ wife, for honoring her husband.

The Jacobs family has a strong connection to the music school. David Jr. studied at the music school in the early 1970s. During that time, David developed a friendship with emeritus dean at the music school, Charles Webb and his family.

The design of the David H. Jacobs Terrace and Plaza creates a sense of harmony with the music school. The wrought iron fence of the plaza represents a conductor and families of the orchestra: percussion, strings, winds and brass.

Music Addition & Merrill Hall

IU rebuilt the old resident music building in 1937 because it had many problems, including noise carrying from practice rooms to classrooms, and the heat inside the building during the summer.

The new building was constructed with Indiana limestone, with the names of great composers written on the wall. Meanwhile, the noise issue has been resolved. After several decades, with more students registering for music school, the University decided to make a new building connecting to Merrill Hall. It is the Music Addition.

Contrasting to the triangular Sydney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, the Music Addition is a completely rounded building — the double circular design of this building is meant for decreasing noise.

The Music Addition and Merrill Hall contain vocal and instrumental practice rooms and classrooms for group classes and individual classes, which allows music students more daily practice.

The MAC

The Musical Arts Center allows music students to study in a “castle.”

Designed by Evans Woollen, the Musical Arts Center is a modern expression of concrete, stone, glass and bright accent colors. It’s similar to Indianapolis’ Clowes Hall, designed by the same architecture company. Woollen used a similar philosophy for these two buildings.

The first proposal of this building was disapproved by Roger Branigin, former governor of Indiana, as he called the project “pretty shabby.”

Different from the city opera house, the MAC is a huge classroom. Classrooms, practice rooms and stages are all included in the building.

Three official opera performances will be put on stage in the MAC each semester.

Not only do the music students get stage experience for opera performance, but the community can enjoy classics.

Frank E. McKinney Jr. 
Fountain

Symbolizing the beauty of music, the Frank E. McKinney Jr. Fountain marks the eastern academic entrance of the music school.

The fountain is named after a significant donor for IU. McKinney is the CEO of Banc One Indiana Corporation. He was also a member of the IU swimming team and won an Olympic gold medal in the sport.

After McKinney died in a plane crash in 1992, his wife, Marianne McKinney, wished to honor him with a gift to IU. Since Marianne is a pianist and program annotator for the Indy Symphony Orchestra, the gift becomes both the landmark of IU and the music school.

When the fountain is active, it represents a live orchestra performance, where the central fountain represents a conductor and the arc of fountain symbolizes an orchestra.

The Frank E. McKinney Jr. Fountain was constructed with limestone, which corresponds to the overall architecture materials and colors of IU.

With a different appearances, buildings and lands create a sense of variety and harmony. The variety is about different style, culture and tone, and the harmony of music is about cooporation.

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