Published on May 12, 2004 by William Nunnelley  
recital hall plans

Samford University is moving ahead with plans to build a Recital Hall and Instrumental Music Building for its School of Performing Arts. The proposed structure was described by Samford President Thomas Corts as "essential" earlier this year.

The Samford Board of Trustees, at its spring meeting May 4, approved a plan to emphasize fundraising for the facility so that construction could begin as soon as possible. The Board also approved hiring an architect and acoustics, lighting and sound system consultants for the building. Planning will be completed by late 2004, according to Vice President for Facilities Don Mott.

The project was one of the first mentioned by Dr. Corts in his January report of Samford initiatives approved by the Board for the next decade.

"We hope soon to begin construction of an essential music recital hall with attendant facilities for instrumental music," he said. Although no construction timetable was announced, Corts stressed that "the need is immediate."

Expected to cost in the $7 million range, the facility is badly needed to serve as a home for Samford orchestral and band programs. Samford offers a full instrumental program including instruction in strings, woodwind, brass and percussion. Instrumental students participate in a wide variety of ensembles including orchestra, wind ensemble, marching band, jazz ensemble and percussion ensemble.

Samford music programs currently are housed in John H. Buchanan Hall, built in the 1960s as a classroom, studio and office building. Music programs also use facilities in Leslie Stephen Wright Fine Arts Center, with its auditorium, theatre, art gallery and recital room.

Tentative plans call for the new building to be located adjacent to Buchanan Hall and Wright Center.

Samford’s School of Music combined with the Department of Theatre in 2001 to form the School of Performing Arts. The University offers majors in music, music education, musical theatre, church music, performance and theory/composition. Dr. Milburn Price is dean of the School of Performing Arts and conductor of the Samford Orchestra.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.