February 12, 2013 — Coral Gables — In a ceremony filled with music, the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami broke ground February 8 on its new Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios. The energy-efficient LEED® Platinum-certified structure will include some 82 chamber music and teaching studios, 48 large music studios and 32 medium-sized studios with superior acoustics and state-of-the-art recording capabilities.
On a fast track for completion by fall 2014, the Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios complex is made possible by the generosity of longtime UM philanthropists Patricia Louise Frost and Dr. Phillip Frost, a UM Trustee. Student-musicians who will benefit most from the project, which is part of UM’s $1.6 billion Momentum2 campaign, honored guests with music performed inside and outside Gusman Concert Hall during the groundbreaking ceremony. Guests included Phillip and Patricia Frost, Leonard Abess, chairman of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, President Donna E. Shalala, Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, Dean Shelton G. Berg and an enthusiastic crowd of over 300 trustees, guests, faculty and students.
When completed, the new building, which is just one component in the school’s ambitious expansion plans, will not only help the school to continue to lure top student-musicians but also “attract new faculty,” said Dean Berg. The school’s original practice rooms in the Foster Building had become antiquated, and more than half of them were not being used as practice space at all—but for teaching. In fact, of Foster’s 90 existing studios, only 35 are in use as practice rooms, leaving more than 700 music students to vie for precious space.
“On top of that,” Berg explained, “we created the Experiential Music Curriculum that’s based around chamber music and learning in small ensembles rather than sitting in lecture demonstrations. The practice rooms in Foster aren’t large enough for chamber music rehearsals. But the new teaching studios that our faculty will move into are large enough and have high enough ceilings that we can have virtually our whole school in chamber music rehearsals and adequate space to accommodate this new learning paradigm.”
The ceremony began in the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, with remarks by Dean Berg, President Shalala, and Patricia and Phillip Frost, plus an uplifting musical presentation that showcased the artistic depth of students from the Frost School.
The ceremony continued with a dramatic brass fanfare performed by the Frost Brass Ensemble. Freshman pianist Anita Pari and the Frost Symphony Orchestra performed the lively third movement of the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 3 with doctoral candidate and Associate Conductor Andres Jaime conducting, and soprano Rebecca Henriques sang “The Jewel Song” from Faust to rousing applause. Two student-led small groups then performed bluegrass and jazz selections, followed by a slide show of building renderings presented by Yann Weymouth, Senior Vice President and Design Principal of HOK Architects.
David Weaver, senior trustee and Momentum2 campaign chair for the Frost School of Music, introduced Patricia Louise Frost. “Students and professors have been sitting in these classrooms that have needed, since the ’70s, an updating,” said Patricia Louise Frost. “Well, we’re doing more than updating…and I’m proud to have my name on your educational building.”
The festivities concluded with UM mascot Sebastian the Ibis and 125 members of the Frost Band of the Hour leading the audience outdoors to a shovel ceremony at the construction site. At the outdoor shovel ceremony, the Frost Percussion Ensemble entertained the crowd with improvisations on David Lang’s “The So-Called Laws of Nature” on found construction objects, and the Frost Flute Ensemble with Associate Professor Trudy Kane and faculty tuba artist Sam Pilafian, delivered a thrilling performance of the ever-popular “Tiger Rag,” arranged by Pilafian. The Frost Band of the Hour concluded the special event with the UM fight song and other crowd favorites. Students and faculty enjoyed a reception directly following, and the Stamps Jazz Quintet, now in its senior year, entertained trustees and other guests at a tented luncheon nearby.
About Frost School of Music
The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. With over 700 students and 100 faculty, it is one of the largest and best music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive in all of higher education. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was one of the historic highlights in the life of the School.
The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings.
The Frost School has pioneered new curricula and was the first in the nation to offer professionally accredited bachelor and master degrees in Music Business and Music Engineering Technology, was among the first to offer degrees in Music Therapy, and Studio Music and Jazz. Renowned for its Instrumental Performance programs, it is the home of the Frost Chamber Orchestra, Frost Symphony Orchestra, and Frost Concert Jazz Band and is a leader in vocal training with the Frost Opera Theater, Frost Chorale and other notable choirs.
Frost is the exclusive home of the Frost Experiential Music Curriculum which fully integrates performance, music history, ear training, music theory and composition through chamber music and skills ensembles; the Henry Mancini Institute which provides students with cross-genre performance opportunities in real-world professional settings; the Stamps Family Distinguished Visitors Series which brings free music master classes and lectures to the community; and the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program which develops the creative skills of talented young artist/songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions of American songwriting. http://www.music.miami.edu
Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami seeks to advance learning, elevate scholarship, and make bold strides in health care in the community, across the country, and around the world. Momentum2 comes on the heels of the institution’s record-breaking Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami, which concluded at the end of 2007 and raised more than $1.4 billion for endowed chairs and professorships, scholarships, facilities, academic and medical programs, and other initiatives. http://www.miami.edu/momentum2
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