May 28, 2013 — Coral Gables — Like a symphony being meticulously scored for an orchestra, the newest gathering space on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus is slowly taking shape with the help of bulldozers, construction cranes, and other machines. When it is completed in a few short years, it will be a four-sided enclosure surrounded by buildings where students make, mix, and master melodies.
The University’s Frost School of Music dedicated the still-evolving Marta S. Weeks Music Quadrangle on May 16, honoring the iconic UM philanthropist, patron for the arts, and trustee emeritus whose impact on the school has been called “immeasurable.”
The quadrangle will be “the heart of the Frost School as Marta is the heart of the Frost School,” Dean Shelton “Shelly” Berg said at the dedication ceremony, held at the L. Austin Weeks Center for Recording and Performance with about 150 guest in attendance, including trustees, deans, faculty members, and students.
“With a new curriculum that’s based on all of our students learning about music technology, learning new ways of marketing music, learning in small groups, and learning new methodologies, the next thing is to build a campus of the future. And we’re doing that,” Berg explained. “Around this quadrangle will grow the most remarkable music campus in the country.”
Key components of that “remarkable campus” are already in place, including the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library and Technology Center. Other major building projects will be completed over the next few years, with the Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios, which will include some 82 chamber music and teaching classrooms, opening in 2014. Then comes a 200-seat performance hall, followed by the Center for Experiential Music, which will include two recital rooms, one that will have the capability of duplicating the acoustics of any music hall in the world.
In the center of it all will be the Weeks Music Quadrangle, a place for faculty, staff, students, and visitors to “gather, converse, study, or just relax,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala.
“It is going to be the heart around which we will string the pearls—the new buildings to complement the [music] campus,” said architect Yann R. Weymouth, who also designed the Frost Music Studios. The Frost School’s Handleman building will eventually be demolished, opening up space for the new structures. And the Pick Music Library’s amphitheater will be converted into a gathering spot of its own.
The quadrangle will include a granite cobblestone centerpiece with a seal inscribed with the words “The Spirit of Marta Weeks is the Spirit of Music.”
Marta S. Weeks-Wulf has provided primary support for many transformative facilities and programs at the Frost School, including the Weeks Music Library and Technology Center, L. Austin Weeks Center for Recording and Performance, Marta and Austin Weeks Music School Fund, and the Marta and L. Austin Weeks Music Scholarship Endowment, which supports more than 20 students each year. Her generosity also funds other UM priorities, including endowed chairs at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miller School of Medicine, and College of Arts and Sciences.
At the dedication ceremony, President Shalala called her “one of the University of Miami’s true heroines. Marta’s impact on the University as a trustee, as a donor, as an all-around Miami Hurricane is immeasurable.”
Said Berg, “Marta has been selfless and generous to the Frost School all along the way, and everywhere that we turn and look, whether it’s these buildings or our most brilliant students, we see the reflection of her generosity.”
One of the Weeks Music Scholars who has benefited from Weeks-Wulf’s largesse performed at the dedication ceremony. Asiya Korepanova, winner of the Wideman International Piano Competition and a doctoral candidate in piano performance, said that the Weeks Music Scholarship she received has changed her life, allowing her to attend the Frost School, learn and study under “amazing” professors, and make use of the music library’s rich collection of scores.
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