Above: CU Boulder and College of Music faculty, leadership, guests, donors, alumni and other dignitaries gather for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and opening of the Warner Imig Music building expansion on Sept. 17, 2021. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)
CU Boulder students, faculty, staff and community members on Friday gathered in person to celebrate the opening of a state-of-the-art, $57-million addition to the Imig Music Building that will enhance the College of Music’s standing as a national leader in comprehensive music education, performance, composition and research.
The grand opening was a year in the making following social distancing restrictions on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the 64,000-square-foot addition opening to students and faculty for the fall 2020 semester.
“What an exciting day this is to finally be able to share this building with our campus and community,” said CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano. “We are so grateful for the support of all who made this building a reality amid the pandemic. And I am incredibly excited to witness the innovation and student success that this amazing new space will help foster in the years ahead.”
Construction of the addition began in late 2018, increasing the Imig Music Building’s total footprint to 89,500 square feet. Students have access to the Waltz Music Library and the American Music Research Center, one of the largest and most important music research collections in the country, as well as access to dedicated space for the Musicians’ Wellness Program and Entrepreneurship Center for Music. The building now accommodates more than 50 student practice rooms and 80 faculty studios, plus a variety of performance spaces:
- 500 seats: Grusin Music Hall, hosting hundreds of performances every year
- 150 seats: Ensemble Hall, designed for the college's larger groups; retractable seating allows the space to double as rehearsal space and a performance hall
- 118 seats: Chamber Hall, an acoustic and academic space
- 270 seats: Music Theatre, home of the Musical Theatre Program and Eklund Opera Program
In one of the first on-campus gatherings since pandemic restrictions were lifted, a jovial atmosphere was punctuated by brass ensembles and a visit from CU Buffs mascot Chip.
DiStefano led a ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside College of Music Dean John Davis, former dean Rob Shay, former dean Dan Sher, undergraduate student Ingrid Anderson, graduate student Raul Dominguez, Music Advisory Board Chair Laurie Hathorn, Music+ Campaign Chair Becky Roser and Music Advisory Board Chair Mikhy Ritter. Shay led the college through the launch of the construction project, while Davis has ushered the college into the new era with its completion and opening.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Boulder Trumpets and members from the CU Marching Band led attendees to the main entrance to explore the building during an open house.
“As we continually reimagine and redefine our programming to develop the universal musician and create a more inclusive environment, the College of Music’s newly emerging academic activities and performance platforms made possible within the Imig Music Building inspire innovation and co-curricular collaboration," said Davis.