MU celebrates Sinquefield Music Center grand opening

5 months 1 week 1 day ago Saturday, February 01 2020 Feb 1, 2020 Saturday, February 01, 2020 1:42:00 PM CST February 01, 2020 in News
By: Peyton Headlee, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Saturday marked the grand opening of the Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield Music Center at the University of Missouri. It is the first new building in the MU College of Arts and Science since 1972.

The grand opening included speeches, a performance from the Mizzou Brass faculty quintet and a ribbon cutting inside the new center. Chancellor Alexander Cartwright gave the introductory speech and said Saturday is a historic day for MU. 

“Great scholars deserve great spaces and that is what this is,” Cartwright said. “We look forward to what will happen here.”

Patricia Okker, dean of the College of Arts and Science, said the music center is already a magnet for attracting the best talent to MU. 

“This is a music center that will transform the school, and already has," Okker said.  "It will transform the college, the university and the community,” 

The Sinquefield Charitable Foundation donated $10 million in 2015, marking the largest gift in support of the arts in the history of MU. Jeanne Sinquefield spoke at the event and said the music is the joy of life. 

“My goal is to make Missouri a center for music competition,” she said. 

The 47,000 square foot music center includes 26 practice rooms, 13 lab tech stations and 6,000 square feet for large ensemble rehearsals.

The total cost of phase one was $24 million. Fundraising for phase two is set to begin soon and has plans to include a 500 seat concert hall. Julia Gaines, director of the School of Music, said the new music center changes everything. 

“We like making music together, so you need to be together and when you are dispersed all over buildings, that doesn't work very well,” Gaines said. “So, the collaboration and the interaction is probably one of the most exciting things we have going.”

The Missouri Arts Council will award the Sinquefields the 2020 Missouri Arts Award for Philanthropy next week, according to Cartwright. 

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