The college of music celebrated the grand re-opening of the Imig building. The building had been under construction since Feb. 2019. Originally, the ceremony was scheduled for the fall 2020 semester, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented in-person celebrations.
The formal ribbon-cutting ceremony occurred on Sept. 17 and faculty, staff and students are already excited for what the future holds for the college.
Jeffrey Nytch is the director of the entrepreneurship center for music (ECM) and an associate professor at the college.
“We have the potential to really grow in some new directions,” he said. “We have this space for the theatre and dance program, so for the first time we have other creative artists regularly in the building.”
The $57 million expansion features a dedicated space for ECM, but also a top floor suite and teaching space for the musician’s wellness program. Also included is a 118-seat recital hall, nine new practice rooms and state-of-the-art, acoustically designed studios.
The new studios and practice spaces have already proven their worth for Michaela Miles, a third-year member of the Golden Buffalo Marching Band.
“Just marching band-wise, we didn’t have any room to do sectionals,” she said. “If it rained there was nowhere for us to go, but because of the expanded building we now have larger classrooms that we can play in and have more people in.”
Miles praised the newly designed rooms for their acoustic properties. She can now hear the nuances in her section much more clearly than before.
“We can listen to our sound as a whole,” Miles said. “I can now hear the other parts a lot easier than before.”
Though construction is annoying, Nytch and Miles were resolute in their belief that the expansion is worth it.
“From my perspective as a faculty member, we recognized that the quality of our faculty and the quality of the students far outstripped the quality of our facilities,” Nytch said.
CU’s college of music is one of the top comprehensive music schools in the country. Faculty at the college include award-winning performers, scholars, and composers.
“We simply had to expand in these new directions if we were going to continue to attract the world-class faculty and students that we have,” Nytch said.
Miles also highlighted the need for expansion, saying it is something that has been a long time coming.
“It shows that we are being heard and listened to,” she said.
Nytch expressed optimism toward the future but also acknowledged the difficulty that faces performing arts.
“One of the things that is challenging about the performing arts is that the facilities to do that well are very expensive,” he said. “And yet they don’t bring in the kinds of multi-million-dollar national science foundation grants that the operations over on East Campus bring in.”
CU’s east campus is home to research facilities such as the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Laboratory. It is also home to the new aerospace engineering sciences building and a satellite operations center.
Economics may work against the arts, but the CU System offers huge opportunities for collaboration across disciplines.
“We have a world-class medical school,” he said. “That has great potential to collaborate with musicians on neural cognition and the impact of music on our brains.”
More information on the college of music can be found on their home page. The college also maintains an event calendar with performances that seek to bring hundreds of performances to audiences throughout the year.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alexander Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.