FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding this year.
The IU Trustees approved the school in March 1921, and the first music students matriculated in August 1921.
“For an entire century, the Jacobs School has welcomed young artists from all over the world to learn and grow under the tutelage of our outstanding and unparalleled faculty,” said Jeremy Allen, David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean (Interim). “We are grateful to be part of this storied tradition of enriching the lives of so many who share in the unifying experiences of music and dance, and we celebrate our first century while looking ahead to the next 100 years.”
The history of the school began in 1910, when Charles D. Campbell was appointed professor of music and head of the newly established IU Department of Music, which resided in Mitchell Hall.
Barzille Winfred Merrill succeeded Campbell in 1919 and was dean when the IU School of Music was inaugurated. During his tenure, the school’s focus shifted from music education to the training of professional musicians.
Gertrude V. Schaupp earned a Bachelor of Public School Music degree from the school in 1923, becoming its first graduate.
Wilfred C. Bain became a critical figure in the music school’s development when he became dean in 1947. Under his guidance, the school expanded ensembles, bolstered faculty and established its renowned opera program, which began in 1948 with Jacques Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann.”
The Jacobs School of Music’s flagship venue, the Musical Arts Center, opened in 1972 with the second-largest theatrical stage area in the country, second only to the Metropolitan Opera House.
The reputation of the school prompted Leonard Bernstein to spend six weeks in residence in 1982, working with students on his latest opera, “A Quiet Place.” “It’s extraordinary to have so many talented people in one place,” said Bernstein. “I have fallen in love with the school.”
In 2005, the IU School of Music was named the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, in recognition of a $40.6 million gift received in honor of Barbara B. and David H. Jacobs.
The school’s newest structure, the East Studio Building, was dedicated in 2013. In addition to administrative offices for Jacobs, it houses technologically and acoustically advanced teaching and practice facilities including 84 faculty studios.
IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater opens its Conrad Prebys Centennial Performance Season with “The Magic Flute” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart this weekend in the Musical Arts Center.
The Jacobs School’s 2021-22 season is made possible by a grant from the Conrad Prebys Foundation, an organization continuing the philanthropic legacy of IU alumnus Prebys.
As part of its banner year, Jacobs has published “Celebrating 100 Years of Music: 1921-2021,” a 44-page booklet available in limited quantities at the Musical Arts Center box office and IU Jacobs Marketplace.
Visit the Jacobs centennial website for more information about the school’s celebration, including a timeline of some of the many highlights from throughout its first century.