Celebration and Dedication of Newly Restored Pratt Hall at Mount Holyoke College Set for March 2 and 3

Thursday, March 1, 2001 - 12:00

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2001

Mount Holyoke's newly renovated Pratt Hall will be formally dedicated and celebrated on Friday and Saturday, March 2-3 with activities ranging from tours, open rehearsals, and interactive master classes to faculty and student concerts. Nearly 100 alumnae and guests are expected to participate in the celebration. The renovation to the College's music building took place over the course of last year and cost $6.2 million dollars.

Friday's events will include a formal dedication ceremony and a concert in the renovated auditorium. The dedication ceremony will begin at 8 pm Friday, March 2. While this event is open to the press and to cameras, it is not open to the public because of limited seating. (Please note that acclaimed opera singer and alumna Nancy Gustofson will not be performing Friday evening, as previously announced, because of an unexpected illness.)

On Saturday, the entire community is invited to attend master classes by music faculty and rehearsals. No reservations are required. A schedule is provided below.

Pratt's auditorium has been named in honor of Dorothy Rooke McCulloch '50, and Norman E. McCulloch Jr, major supporters of the Pratt project and the College. The McCullochs will attend the weekend festivities, including the christening (with champagne and river water) of the crew team's new boat, which will be called The Rookie (McCulloch's nickname at MHC) in Dorothy McCulloch's honor. The christening will be held Saturday at 1:30 pm in the indoor track area of Kendall, and a reception will follow in Streeter lounge.

Pratt's music library has been named for Eleanor Pierce Stevens '25, a lover of music and dance, who has been dancing for more than fifty years. Although distance will prevent her from attending the celebration (she lives in Dallas, Texas), Stevens will certainly be present in spirit.

The Pratt renovation was carried forward as part of Mount Holyoke's $200-million comprehensive campaign, The Campaign for Mount Holyoke College--Advancing Our Legacy of Leadership. Launched in October 1998, the Campaign, slated to span five years, has already attained more than $174 million.

More on Pratt

A groundbreaking ceremony for Mount Holyoke's Pratt Music Hall construction and renovation project was held March 4, 2000. In addition to providing courses in music history, theory, performance, and composition, Mount Holyoke's music department produces forty-five to fifty events annually. In any given year, 20 percent of the student body participates in some aspect of the music program. Says Larry Schipull, associate professor of music, "Programmatically, the music department is state-of-the-art. It's the facility that really needed to catch up."

Constructed in two phases, MHC's music building currently comprises Pratt Hall, built in 1909, and the Hammond Wing, added in 1967. The new construction and renovation have united the buildings' disparate parts into a modern, workable whole. A two-story addition was constructed on the north end of the building, connecting Pratt and Hammond and housing a forty-seat, fully mediated classroom, three studio offices, and a skylit connecting corridor. All existing space in Pratt and Hammond has been renovated. The entire building has become more visible and easily navigable for people entering and moving through it.

Throughout the building, all instructional and performance spaces have been soundproofed. The music and dance libraries have been consolidated in the new library, including portions currently held at Williston Library. The library and all its related components, including stacks, recordings, multimedia stations, and keyboard lab, have been moved from eight different and widely dispersed spaces into one central, easily accessible space. A lounge area for student interaction has been created on the lower level, with an open ceiling to the first floor.

Pratt Hall has also received air-conditioning, which will increase usage in the warmer months and protect musical instruments and library materials. It will also become completely accessible with the addition of both front and back handicapped-accessible entrances. An elevator will connect all floors in Pratt.

Friday, March 2

8:00 pm McCulloch Auditorium

Pratt Hall Dedication

8:30 pm
McCulloch Auditorium

Celebratory Concert


Saturday, March 3
10:00 am-noon Master Classes. Each class runs 50 minutes.

10:00 am
Warbeke Room

"Beethoven vs. Beethoven: Why Do Historically Informed Performance?" Linda C. Laderach, associate professor of music; Larry D. Schipull, College organist and associate professor of music.

10:00 am
Room 109

"Why Is Felix Mendelssohn More Famous Than His Sister Fanny?" Louise Litterick, associate professor of music and chair, music department.

11:00 am
Room 109

"From Ghana With Love" A video portrait of an unusual West African Methodist children's choir produced by Mount Holyoke's very own choral director. Catharine R. Melhorn, choral director and Hammond-Douglass Professor of Music.

11:00 am
Room 211

From Debussy to Bolcom: Two-Piano Music Spanning the Twentieth Century" Gary Steigerwalt, associate professor of music; Dana Muller, pianist.


Saturday, March 3
Afternoon events

2-4:00 pm

Tours of Pratt Hall and Open Rehearsals

2-3:00 pm
Room 109

Jazz Ensemble

2-3:00 pm
Warbeke Rm

Voices of Faith

3-4:00 pm
Warbeke Rm

Chamber Singers

3-4:00 pm
McCulloch Auditorium

English Handbell Choir

3-4:00 pm
Rm L 07

V-8s


Saturday, March 3

Evening Events

8:30 pm
McCulloch Auditorium

Faculty Concert

10:00 pm
McCulloch Auditorium

Student Jazz Concert