The Jacobs School of Music had a dedication ceremony for the new East Studio Building Thursday afternoon at the Musical Arts Center.
The ceremony included speakers and musical performances by the Jacobs School of Music Herald Trumpeters, Professor of Voice Marietta Simpson with guitarist Tyron Cooper and the Singing Hoosiers.
In addition, IU alumnus David Jacobs was awarded an honorary doctoral music degree, for which he received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Audience members were able to attend a reception following the ceremony and receive tours of the 85,000-square-foot building located on the northeast corner of Third Street and Jordan Avenue.
Construction for the East Studio Building, which was funded by a $44-million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., began in April 2011 and was completed this summer in time for the fall semester.
The building is home to Jacobs’ administrative offices and 84 faculty studios.
IU President Michael McRobbie described it as “a magnificent new facility that gives our world-renowned faculty and exceptional students the learning and teaching space they need to reach new heights.”
IU Provost Lauren Robel said although Jacobs faculty and students always enjoyed access to performance spaces, their practice and teaching facilities left much to be desired.
“To say that the new East Studio Building is an upgrade would be an understatement,” she said.
Robel also discussed the technological aspects of the studios in the new building, which she said are acoustically and technologically far beyond anything Jacobs faculty or students have had access to in the past.
“The building was designed to highlight the vital role of connectivity in the educational experience,” she said. “The telecommunications equipment provided in each studio allows faculty and students in the Jacobs School to connect with music professionals around the world.”
Junior saxophone performance major Steven Banks said although the new building has only been open for a few months, it has already become a central part of the lives of music students at IU.
“Apart from the studios and practices spaces, this building gives music students a great environment to study, relax and socialize in its lounges,” he said.
He said he also thinks it will be helpful in the recruitment process at Jacobs because prospective students will notice and remember such a beautiful facility.
“I know it will positively affect our faculty, students and prospective students for many years to come,” he said.
Follow reporter Rachel Osman on Twitter @rachosman.