Hughes Hall Legacy

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Time and change will surely show, how firm thy friendship...


During the summer of 2022, the Ohio State University School of Music moved out of Hughes Hall — its home since 1949.

The opening of the Timashev Family Music Building in autumn will bring the School of Music under one roof for the first time in history. Weigel Hall, which opened in 1979, remains part of the building, with the Timashev located on the west, along College Road. School of Music offices and labs previously located in the Mershon Auditorium building will also relocate to the Timashev.

Beginning autumn 2022, Hughes Hall will be used as classroom and academic space to benefit students across Ohio State.

Scroll through the gallery for a brief look at our history. 

(Photos 1–3 courtesy of The Ohio State University Archives)


Hughes Hall Legacy Survey

We asked alumni and faculty to share their memories of Hughes Hall and received dozens of responses. Through your responses we heard, loud and clear, that although a building plays a role in the functions and support of a performing arts school, it is the friendships that make the difference, stay with us and impact our lives and future success.

Thank you to all who submitted memories. We have, in some cases, edited slightly for clarity or to focus comments on Hughes Hall. Be aware that names of courses, ensembles and even degrees offered have changed over the decades. We have not altered these details and have not verified degrees and years. The comments and statistics below are, for the most part, as they were submitted.

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1950s

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I met my wife Gretchen Klein during Hughes Hall days. We were married in 1960 and will be celebrating our 62nd wedding anniversary in June.

I enjoyed my studies with John Muschick, Louis Diercks, Dale Gilliland and Wilbur Held.

John (Jack) Grigsby
BM 1957, MA 1959
Voice — John Muschick, Dale Gilliland
Symphonic Choir, Marching Band

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The life-changing event [for me] was the 10-week European (USO) tour with the "Statesiders." The Lyric Ensemble became the Statesiders in their music show, representing the OSU music department, in their tour for our service men in Germany and France. It was an educational experience in European culture along with learning how to tour a show. I learned so much about myself as a performer and person, building independence and strength. It was so personally educational, that I have continued sharing that experience with choral students whom I have taken on music tours since becoming a choral director.

I certainly enjoyed walking on to the [Hughes Auditorium] stage to sing my bachelor and master final recital performance.

Eve Anne Yaw Wilkes  
BME 1958, MA 1974
Voice (BME) — Irma Cooper / (MA) — Mario Alch
Lyric Ensemble (Statesiders) and OSU Choir

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1960s

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The most special moment was having Mr. Suddendorf as my teacher for four years. What a great person. The reason I chose Ohio State.

Always had to laugh when people had to use the stairs because somebody didn’t close the gate on the elevator.

Joseph Antonelli
BS 1967, Music Education
MA 1971, Music Education
Trumpet — Richard Suddendorf
Marching Band, Symphony Orchestra, brass choir, concert band

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Audition for my Ohio State Jazz quartet in a practice room on the top floor — my wife-to-be came in... and the rest is history — 52 years of marriage and two brilliant musician kids, born in SD and living in NYC.

Hughes Hall — those bilious yellow walls!

David Chase
BM 1969, MA 1971, DMA 1981
Voice
Choral ensembles and conducting — Maurice Casey
Jazz band — Ladd McIntosh

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The doctoral seminars were top-notch experiences. Included were a relatively small group of 6–7 students and the leadership shifted among faculty members who presented timely topics including ones that required a great deal of thinking, evaluating and dissecting. Arguments were pervasive but it was all in good spirit. Such experiences lifted all of us to new levels.

I have no remembrances of the building itself. I only know that, at the time, we viewed it as "adequate."

Robert L. Cowden
PhD 1968 (or 1969)

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We used to practice on the top floor with several other music students and played and sang jazz!

Working with the talented singers, conductors, dancers and musicians was a thrill always! I did my grad recital in Hughes Hall in 1962.

Judith Harris Hays (Judy Wright)
BA 1962
Voice — Norman Steiger
Women's Glee Club, Symphonic Choir
Girl Crazy (Molly), 1958; Showboat, 1959; Merry Widow (Valencienne), 1960; Oklahoma (Laurie), 1961; Marriage of Figaro (Susanna), 1962; Messiah (soprano soloist) 2 years

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Met my first wife and the mother of my 3 children on the fourth floor at the drinking fountain. First week of graduate school, Dr. McGinnis saw me on the 3rd floor and signed me up as a graduate assistant (to teach saxophone) on the spot.

A large part of my young life between 1959 and 1970 was spent in Hughes Hall. I have countless memories of rehearsals, classes, performances, friendships, professors and even the basement of the music library and practicing on the fourth floor, that I cherish.

Ladd McIntosh
BM 1966, MM 1970
Saxophone — Burdette Green (I also studied clarinet and flute with Joe Lord)
Concert Band (4 years), Jazz Workshop (founded/led bands for 5 years)

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In class I mostly enjoyed just learning the nuts and bolts of how music is constructed and all about our past "colleagues," "composers," "teachers," "people out there in the field." Working with outstanding faculty was the best education I could have gotten. Friendships abounded since we were all in the same boat!

Hughes Hall is so unique! Trudging up the stairs every day, finding a safe place in the classrooms, the practice rooms provided solace and a place to discuss homework with friends. Who can forget those slippery floors and stairways coming in from a winter snow. Good drinking fountains, good rest rooms, and a “small town” auditorium added to the homey atmosphere. Friendly office people helped lost and inquisitive students, but the auditions and playing finals were still scary. Then there was that lone equipment elevator! How did we all survive?

John Leslie Watkins
BS 1966, MA 1979
French horn — William Kearns, Leonard Rivenberg, Jack Evans
Concert Band, Buckeye Band, University Chorus, Brass Choir

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1970s

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I was a member of Men's Glee (1981–1983) and sang in a Barbershop Quartet for special shows. We used to practice in the third floor men's room because the acoustics and reverberation were so good there. One time, after finishing a particularly rousing number, we heard spontaneous applause out in the hall, where a crowd had gathered to listen to our practicing. If only we sounded that good on stage! I still have many close friends from my undergrad and grad school days in Hughes Hall.

All of us voice majors used to call the second floor "Hughes High" because all the voice faculty studios were there, and we all had lockers on that floor. Changing classes each day was our social time, when we made plans for study parties or weekend tailgates.

Timothy Brooks
BME 1979, MA 1983
Voice — Helen Swank
Symphonic Choir, Men's Glee Club

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Reading The Lantern in the old Hughes Hall music library my freshman year. It was something out of the 1950s with the hot water radiators and old fashioned wood library tables. Practicing ear training in the old basement listening lab was also an experience. The pitch of a held note would wobble 20 or 30 cents as the reel-to-reel tape recorder changed speeds.

The building was a dump as long ago as the 1970s, but it was our dump. The building custodian became ill my first year and the university did not send a replacement. Over time the waste baskets disappeared under a mountain of trash. When a cleaning crew finally materialized, they cleaned the floor with snow shovels. I took my freshman music theory final on the Oval as the hallway filled with smoke during the test. Our TA got David Meeker who called the university Fire Marshal. That guy took one look and yanked the fire alarm. At night we practiced in our professors' studios due to lack of space. Hughes would be lit up like a Christmas tree until student security cleared the building at 11 p.m. Talk about the inmates having the keys to the asylum.

Thomas Hastings Burkey
BME 1978
Euphonium — Paul Droste
Concert band, military band, Gray band

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My studies at the Ohio State School of Music were life-changing. I entered the program as a shy 17-year-old piano major. Throughout my years at the university, I built self confidence, found my passion for accompanying singers and developed a lifelong love for performance. Voice professor Irma Cooper took me under her wing, mentored me through the years, and encouraged me to attend AIMS in Graz, Austria — which I did.

I am grateful for the musical training and wonderful opportunities I had at Ohio State. Those early years provided the foundation and confidence that I needed to forge my music career.

Hughes Hall was home away from home for many of us. It was in Hughes Hall that I met my lifelong friends, with many of whom I still carry fond memories. The hallways and front steps of Hughes Hall served as gathering places for friends to laugh, share and lament. Inside its walls, we grew the much-needed roots for a successful future in music.

Janet Buswell
BM 1978, piano performance
MM piano performance coursework
Piano — Sylvia Zaremba and Robert Brooks
Women’s Glee Club

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I'll never forget the spring of my senior year (1970) at Hughes Hall. I was accompanying Al Laszlo on a cello studio recital when the fire alarms in the building went off. These were the days, after all, when campus demonstrations against the war in Vietnam were a common event. Then on May 4, the killing of four students at Kent State led to the closing of that school and Ohio State. When classes resumed, I was allowed to give my senior piano recital, but at noon time rather than at night, and my parents were not allowed on campus, which was definitely a letdown. I'm hoping, though, when the pandemic finally lets up, to come back and visit Ohio State and see the new music facility, especially since my 50th reunion could not be held in 2020.

Nelly Maude Case
BM 1970, MM 1972, PhD 1984
Piano — Richard Tetley-Kardos
Symphony Orchestra (1st chair viola, 1966–70)
String Orchestra (1st chair viola, 1968–70)

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As a percussionist in Hughes Hall, I spent a great deal of time in the elevator. The rehearsal rooms were on the first floor, so many instruments had to be moved down from the practice rooms to the rehearsal rooms and back again. This could happen numerous times a day. The percussionists had great attitudes and made up games as the fourth or fifth move in a day was pretty tiring.

I came to Ohio State as a classical pianist who also played timpani, snare drum and drum set in high school. Choosing to be a percussion major meant I had to gain technical percussion skills I did not master in high school. I was taken under the wing of the best senior percussion major my first year, and after I practiced scales, arpeggios and basic technical skills every day, he would come and sight read duos with me, every day for an hour, usually at 9–10 p.m. He was like a sight reading Marine! By the end of that first year, I was the best sight reader in my class.

Robert John Chappell, Jr.
BM 1972, BME 1972
Percussion — Dr. James Moore
Concert Band, Brass Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble

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Walking into the tiny bassoon studio on the third floor in August 1976, as the new bassoon professor — a dream come true.

The first rehearsals for me in the Orchestra (Sibelius #2, Mr. Hardesty), and Concert Band (Dr. McGinnis), scared me to death.

Robert Cochran
BME 1972, MM 1973
Bassoon — George Wilson, Charles Fligel
Orchestra, Chamber (Little) Orchestra, Concert Band

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After teaching music in public schools for 13 years, I was employed in the School of Music as an administrative assistant in music education for 30 years.

As an organ major (the department was dropped in 1988), I had access to three practice pipe organs on the fourth floor that were removed in the 1980s and 1990s.

Thomas Harold Cook
BME 1972, MA 1977
Organ — Dr. Wilbur Held / Piano — Richard Tetley-Kardos
Buckeye Scarlet and Gray Bands

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I was taking a Music History class with Dr. Moss at 8 a.m. I was also going through hell week with my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. I had stayed up most of the night at the frat house and was ordered to attend my 8 a.m. class. I made it to the room and sat down in my seat. I ask my friend sitting next to me to wake me up when the class was over. I put my head down and was out for the count. When I awoke the first thing I remember was someone saying, “He’s awake!” I raised my head and looked around to find a different teacher and different students. I looked at my watch and was amazed to see it was 11:20 and that I had slept through 3 classes. I composed myself, gathered my books and things and walked out of the room to thunderous applause! I found out later that my sleeping adventure had become quite the topic of conversation in Hughes Hall that morning.

We all enjoyed the upstairs practice rooms. 

David William Curtiss
BME 1972
Voice — William Whiteside
Symphonic Choir, Chorale

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I loved having the practice rooms on the top floor. In warm weather, the windows could be opened and it was great during breaks to stand at those windows and look at the Oval or out the other end of the hallway. There was a lot of camaraderie amongst the students up there. I also really liked going to the music library on the ground floor and getting the instruments for the methods classes in the basement from the nice person in charge of them. Dr. Platt, Sylvia Zaremba and Maurice Casey were all very inspiring teachers.

Mary Fahrenbruck
BME 1973, MM 1976 (University of Michigan), DMA 1990
Piano (BME) — Dr. Rosemary Platt / (DMA) — Sylvia Zaremba
University Chorus, Concert Chorale

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It was 1977, when the crew for my recital did not show up and my trio and I had to move the piano on the stage.

Judged for many events in that building and Saturday afternoon master classes with all of TK's students in his office.

Elizabeth Fleisher
MA 1977, MM 1983
Piano — Richard Tetley-Kardos
Piano Duos / Voice Duos

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There was a tribute concert coming up for Dr. Richard Burkart, professor of trumpet. I knew many of his former students would be coming into town to play for it. At 10 p.m. I left work in the Music Library (Sullivant Hall) and walked out into a spring evening, fragrant with the lilacs and hyacinths on the Oval. Because it was so warm, the windows were open in Hughes Hall, and I could hear the trumpet group practicing. Listening to them one by one, I could identify who had arrived by their tone, and happily ran over to Hughes to meet them. A perfect evening!

We were all assigned lockers, and mine on the third floor was somehow RIGHT NEXT to the locker of an older student I had been dating since high school. We both enjoyed popular piano music of the 1940s–60s, and would leave sheet music as messages in each other's lockers — like "How Soon Will I be Seeing You?" or "Five Minutes More." Sounds corny, right?  But it was fun and romantic.

Elizabeth C. Foushee
BME 1977
Bassoon — Charles Fligel, Linda Smith, Robert Cochran
Concert Band, Scarlet Band, ROTC Band, Woodwind Choir, Woodwind Quintets, various Woodwind Ensembles, Bassoon Choir

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Walking on the ledge of the fourth floor, looking into the practice rooms. Risky, but fun.

Loved rehearsing for Choral with Maurice Casey, standing in a circle on the stage of Hughes Hall. Also, student recitals in Hughes Hall.

Diane Kesling 
BM 1978
Voice — John Muschick
Chorale, mixed choir

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I began in the instrumental education program on flute. I struggled under my TA for 2 1/2 years, worked hard but was devastated when she wouldn't pass me after almost 3 years into the program and 3/4 finished with my music education courses. I recovered and when my first instrument choice did not work out, I went to my class voice teacher Helen Swank — one of the finest educators ever. She told me my gift was my voice. She helped me prepare tirelessly, I auditioned and was accepted into the voice area where I studies under a full professor and flourished. I studied 12 or 13 straight quarters and it took me an extra year to graduate, but in the end, I earned my teaching certificate: K-12, vocal, instrumental and general music.

I enjoyed summers studying with the best guest artists as well as Professor Hickfang, who wanted me to switch to performance, but I just wanted to graduate and teach others to love music. Music heals my soul still... and I thank Ms. Cooper, Mr. Hickfang and all those who believed in my talent. It was the worst of times, it was the best of times, you might say. I am proud to be a graduate of The Ohio State University School of Music.

I spent many hours up in those practice rooms, working every moment I could on both my flute lessons and finally with my vocal accompanist John Kim Bell (for 3 years) rehearsing and preparing to be the best vocalist that I could be. Lots of hours sitting on the floor in those rooms on the fourth floor, practicing and listening to my friends practice... learning all that I could. When I think of Hughes I think of the 4th floor first, and always with joy and pride in perseverance.

Karen Stumpf Lewis
BME 1975
Voice — Irma Cooper
Scarlet and Gray Bands, University Choir/Symphonic Choir — Paul Hickfang, director

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Performing my recital in 1978 with my friend Jayne. Then 40 years later, attending the recital of a mentored student, with my friend Jayne accompanying him!

In the fall of 1978, I attended Careers in Music Day. As I entered Hughes, I knew Ohio State and the School of Music was where I belonged!

J. Mark Lowe
BME 1979
Trombone — Joe Duchi
The Ohio State University Marching Band, Trombone Choir, Scarlet Band, Small Ensembles

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I was a TA in 1970 teaching a music theory class in one of the upper classrooms facing the Oval. Massive anti-Vietnam riots were breaking out around the country and soon spread to Ohio State where thousands were protesting shortly before the Kent State massacre. Over 500 State Police with tear gas and brigade from the National Guard with fixed bayonets appeared on campus trying to quell the angry crowd while the university continued classes as though nothing was happening. Above the fray on the second floor I diligently sought to engage my students with the wonders of the augmented 6th chord, ignoring the madness outside as it became more disruptive and violent. When I'd turn to the blackboard they'd jump up to watch the clashes and mayhem developing below. Of course I knew what was happening but I was young, keen and for some reason wanted to play a "macho man" teacher determined to share the joys of a slick harmonic progression no matter what. As I began to draw the leading tone resolving upwards and the seventh descend, a tear gas canister flew through the open window and started whirling around on the floor. I played calm, cool and collected, clearly out to impress my young audience. I quickly kicked the flaming canister out the door into the hallway and made them sit there, gagging, as l completed the chord's resolution. They were choking with tears streaming down their faces when I quietly uttered, "class dismissed" and we all hurled ourselves out of the building as fast as we could, gasping for air. Many years later I ran into one of my students who told me all she remembered about music theory that year was the tear gas resolution of an augmented 6th chord. We had a good laugh, then she went on to say how cool they thought it was until they got outside and realized just how really stupid I'd been. I couldn't agree more. We laughed again and all I could say was "I was young."

In 1969–72 Hughes Hall became symbolic for me as a young DMA composition student by what the building came to symbolize. It was iconic for me, but perhaps for a different reason than for many of my colleagues in other fields. In the 1960s the School of Music was a very conservative institution with virtually no contemporary music taught or performed when I first arrived. I had come to OSU on a scholarship to dodge the draft and study contemporary music. To its credit The School of Music covered its contemporary music void with an impressive array of outside guest composers and speakers. Guests like Herbert Brün, Zygmunt Krauze and David Behrman inspired us young composers to form a new music group we provocatively called "The Junta for New Music." Our first activity was a concert of recent American avant-garde music. We booked Hughes Auditorium for rehearsals, but when one of the administrative staff heard what he considered ear-splitting cacophony, we were banned from the building and told to rehearse elsewhere. Hughes quickly became the icon for what we young radicals considered stodgy old-fashioned music-making. The music emanating from Hughes was worthy, well done, important, but from another era and Hughes represented that era. For us it came to represent only the noble past and ironically even its address, 1899 North College Road, confirmed it. It didn't look like us, bearded and barefoot, nor did it want us, so we moved our activities to the Dance Department and out into The Oval on sunny days, attracting large crowds. We were young and rebellious with fire in our bellies. Being banned from Hughes was actually a gift and made us more creative, energetic and resourceful. It was something solid to bump up against, challenge and outwit. Now over half a century later it is with great fondness that I look back on those heady times, realizing now how important something like being banned from Hughes was in shaping me as a freelance composer based in London and touring the world.

I take great delight in what went on there and how important it all was in shaping me in a positive way for my lifetime as a freelance composer and wouldn't change anything if I had to do it over.

Stephen Montague
DMA 1972
Music Composition
A new music ensemble called "The Junta for New Music"


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I fondly remember sitting on the steps of Hughes Hall with other students on pleasant spring days.

I remember spending many hours in the few practice rooms with grand pianos. Also, it was interesting to walk in front of the building on nice days when practice room windows were open, hearing the musical mixture of so many students practicing.

Jill (Steenrod) Peters
BME 1978
Piano — George Haddad
The Ohio State University Marching Band, Trombone Ensemble

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Each spring the percussion studio and Coyle Music would hold a day of percussion with a VIP celebrity drummer capping the day with the Jazz Ensemble. The guest one year was a young Peter Erskine.

Yes, many fond memories... like practicing the oboe sitting on the ledge outside the 4th floor practice rooms. The 4th floor rooms had no air conditioning, and they were very hot that spring quarter... but I had to learn the oboe for Dr. VonGreunigen's woodwind methods class!

Jim Rupp
BME 1979
Percussion — Dr. Moore, and grad students Jack Jenny, Dave Eyler, Linda Pimentel
Drum set — Jim Curlis
The Ohio State Marching Band, Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble

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Being chairperson of the Delta Omicron recital, I learned that for an hour recital there should be 40 minutes of music. The rest of the time is taken up by stage changes. I also learned that playing completely through my recital at the end of the day, every day for two weeks prior, prepares one very well.

Practicing at 7 a.m.; It's really easy to get a practice room at that hour!

We called the music school "Hughes High School" because everyone knew everyone, and we spent most of the day in that one building.

Ann Baumgartner Schnapp
BM 1978, MA 1983
Viola (BM) — Robert Culver / (MA) Martin Kelly
Chamber music, Symphony Orchestra

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I loved learning all families of instruments, especially percussion and strings. The percussion teacher invited me to participate in the then all-male ensemble which performed around Columbus. It was 1973 — the landmark year of women being welcomed into the marching band. I am eternally proud I was privileged to break ground in one small ensemble.

In the late 1960’s, many practice rooms in Hughes Hall were drab. However, any time two or more students gathered in one of these to practice or improvise, the space was divinely transformed. Great fun and friendships, great and not-so-great music, strong connection and creativity ran rampant. It was a beautiful time, a tantalizing taste of musical joys to come.

Loretta Ferlito Shaffer
BME 1976
Voice — McHenry Boatwright
University Chorus — Maurice Casey

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My first rehearsal in Symphonic Choir in Hughes Hall auditorium as a freshman, having sung with my high school choir only a few months earlier and now singing with so many upperclassmen and graduate students with such remarkable voices all around me, was an emotional experience for me. With all of the rich vocal sound around me and trying to sing with a lump in my throat and blurry eyes, I remember thinking, "What am I doing here?" It was the first of many "mountain top" musical experiences over the next four years singing with the Ohio State choirs.

I remember how nervous I was walking into Maurice Casey's office to audition for choir the first time. I also remember, as if it were today, the familiar smell of Mr. Casey's pipe whenever I was in the general vicinity of his office. I have fond memories of voice lessons with Dale Gilliland in his studio, music theory classes during which time I grew to have a love for the subject and for teaching it to others, a love which is still with me today, 50+ years later, and my graduate recital in the Hughes Hall auditorium.

Roger Wayne Stagge
BME 1971
Voice — Dale Gilliland
Ohio State Chorale, Symphonic Choir, University Chorus

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Our methods class was visited by Dr. Robert Carpenter. His compassion for teaching in the “inner city” inspired me to go on to grab in the Columbus City Schools.

I was a trumpet major but I loved playing jazz piano on the grands in the fourth floor practice rooms.

John W. Stahl
BME 1977
Trumpet — Tom Battenberg and Dr. Burkhart
Marching Band, Concert Band, Dixieland Jazz Band, Athletic Band

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1973 Das Unaufhörliche and Blood Wedding premiere and my singing roles in each.

Gertrude Kuehefuhs pulled me out of the Hughes hallway to turn pages for the audition of a violinist who played Beethoven’s Kreisler Sonata. The powerful energy of her accompanying outplayed the poor candidate's audition.

Douglas Starr
BM 1974, MM 1975, DMS 1978
Voice — John Muschik
Summer choir

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Jack O. Evans made a special impression on me in life. Donald E. McGinnis also had a good influence on me, not only at Hughes Hall, but many years later at a National Flute Association Convention.

I remember meeting with other students in the basement, having nice chats.

Julie Anne Stern
BM 1970
Flute — Joseph Lord
Buckeye Gray and Scarlet Bands, Early Music Ensemble

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The feeling that every single member of the faculty and staff had our backs!

How I was totally out of breath on the first day of each quarter (walking up all the stairways from my locker to the 4th floor in order to practice) as compared to how I felt weeks or months later.

Joyce Kubit Stonebraker
BM/BME 1978, MA 1985
Piano — Richard Tetley-Kardos
Symphonic Choir

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I remember being frustrated beyond words with a piece assigned by my freshman piano professor. It was beyond my capability and I flunked my jury spectacularly. In fact, solo performance was not my jam. Ever. Had it not been for professors who saw the musician within me, I would not have continued the pursuit of my degree. I switched to Ms. Zaremba who coaxed, encouraged, and challenged me to complete my piano studies. I remember the relief when I had my final piano jury — she walked out, smiled, and said, “we did it!”

Having most of my classes in Hughes, it was a real gift to have a locker! (We jokingly referred to it as “Hughes High School.”) Piles of music, scores, textbooks, etc. were swapped out in between classes. When I had to trek across campus to another non-music class, Hughes was my home base. When I lived off-campus, the listening lab doubled as a lunchroom, where many of us ate lunch and listened to music for analysis or music history (back in the day it was a dial-up library and listening via large headphones). I gave my recital in the auditorium, a place where there were hours of rehearsals for choir and small ensembles.

Deborah Grace (Harsh) Vaughn
BME 1978
Piano — Sylvia Zaremba
Marching Band (Paul Droste), Symphonic Choir (Maurice Casey)

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I loved the camaraderie of the music students. I always felt like I belonged to a great group of people. Teachers were kind and classes were fun. I feel like that same camaraderie exists among today's music education students. They lift each other up, supporting and encouraging each other through very busy days.

In the days before Weigel Hall opened, there was no lobby area or other space for students to gather. I remember eating lunch with my friends in the basement of Hughes, sitting on the stairs into Hughes 100!

Jayne Wenner
BME 1977, MA 1988
Piano — Dr. George Haddad
Women's Glee, University Chorus, Community Orchestra

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Climbing the steps to the practice rooms was always  a challenge — particularly when I had to carry a cello from the basement to the 4th floor — 88 steps. I also had the opportunity to play the celeste for an opera premiere. That was a lot of fun.

I tried out for the School of Music on a lark. I never dreamed I would be accepted. I can tell you that I became a far better pianist (and musician) than I ever dreamed I could be. Mine was truly an arts education. By the time I graduated though, I knew that music teaching was not for me. The students in the classes where I student taught couldn’t read the words to the songs I was teaching. That eventually led to my calling in special education where many of musicians [also] land.

Elizabeth Davis Wetherholt
BME 1974, MA 1977
Piano — Miriam Mooney
Women’s Glee Club

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I remember one time when the concert band was recording, Dr. McGinnis stopped the session and told someone to "tell the sackbuts rehearsing in the corridor to stop playing.”

My first introduction to Hughes Hall was in 1962 or 1963 when I was in junior high. I had been playing saxophone since elementary school and decided I needed to learn clarinet to play in the dance band. I started taking clarinet lessons at Hughes Hall from Dr. Titus. I decided to go to Ohio State for college. I continued studying clarinet With Dr. Titus and also Mr. Lord, and even a summer with Dr. McGinnis.

Hughes Hall was definitely a special place for me. I remember how worn down the steps were from so many feet traveling up and down them over the years.

Linda Lee Nack Wilson
BS 1972, music education
Clarinet — Robert Titus
Woodwind Quartet and Sax Quartet

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Miss Eileen Bonney inspired me to become an elementary general music teacher. Until then, I had not considered it. Her Elementary Methods class and her teaching method inspired me. I must add another story. My grad voice recital was May 1, 1970. It had to be moved to an off-campus church due to the riots. I got credit for it, but did not get a reel-to-reel copy of the recital since it was not held in Hughes Hall. Of course Kent State was just three days after my recital.

I enjoyed having Donald Simmons as the Women's Glee Club director (his son J. K. Simmons is the Oscar-winning actor, who is nominated again this year). I was tapped as a piano accompanist for one of the group's songs for an LP record featuring the School of Music students.

I was warned by some that Ohio State was "too big" — but the School of Music was like a high school where the music majors took many courses together (as long as they didn't flunk out!). I recall how the practice rooms on the top floor were small and close together, and not soundproof! One of my favorite music courses was Sight Singing and Dictation — I got straight A's; my least favorite was Music History, held at 8 a.m. Monday–Friday for three straight quarters. I like history, but that instructor at that hour was not inspiring to say the least. I did not audition for entry as others, due to a misunderstanding. I entered Ohio State the summer of 1967 right after I graduated from high school. Since I had no voice audition, the school arranged for me to take lessons from none other than the late Paul Hickfang (opera man and a giant way over 6' tall!). He also had red hair. He gave me the thumbs-up to go ahead and major in voice. I remember being scared of him, although he was very nice. I also recall Maurice Casey. I sang in University Choir two quarters with him. The first concert was The Messiah — Casey's conducting methods were unique to say the least. These are memories that I still recall.

Susan Lee (Curry) Winchell
BME 1970
Voice — Irma Cooper (final instructor)
Women's Glee Club

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1980s

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My favorite memories of Hughes Hall involved my recital and the recital of my friends. I was in Delta Omicron and we would often prepare the food and or serve at the receptions held after our recitals. My roommates, also music majors and members of Delta Omicron, used to joke that if a music career didn't pan out for us we would start a catering company together.

My memories of the building include the old rickety elevator, the outdated reel-to-reel tapes used to teach ear-training (in the basement), the great fun we had during studio classes, and the opening of the new learning center. I worked in the learning center mostly helping Elementary Education students find resources and figure out how to make a lesson plan for teaching music. The fourth floor practice rooms were one of may favorite places, though. I'd spend endless hours practicing there and enjoyed the great views and fresh air. It was also great fun to find your friends practicing and then just break into spontaneous song together. Time spent in my professors' offices was always wonderful as well. I have great memories of inspiring and encouraging times with my teachers.

Lora Jane Bradely (Roberts)
BM/BME 1986
Voice — Paul Hickfang and Eileen Davis
Chorale, University Chorus, Women's Glee

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I did meet a lifelong friend there, as it turns out, and I still take her a pink rose every year to mark the fact that she was my big sister in the music fraternity Delta Omicron. But the best memory I have is of my senior recital. It went very well, and was a lot of fun. I have extremely fond memories of most of the music faculty, especially Marshall Haddock — I learned so much from him!

To be honest, Hughes Hall needed significant renovation forty years ago when I left it, and I can't tell you how happy I am that something is being done at last. On being a music major — unlike many degree programs, musicians are in their major field of study from day one. It makes a giant institution like Ohio State a smaller, homier place, where you know everybody and share the same experiences. There is so much value in that, for someone stepping into independence and adulthood, who needs friends and compatriots.

Susan Steiner Collins
BME 1982
Violin — Marya Geisy
Symphony Orchestra, Women's Glee Club

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 When I think of Hughes I think not of events but of people. My friends, attending Delta Omicron meetings. The listening lab in the basement with reel-to-reel tapes! Treading up the stairs to the practice rooms. The nervousness before juries. And of course my own recital. I didn’t realize how much of my college life was wrapped up in Hughes until I wrote this.

My boyfriend, now husband, used to refer to the building as Hughes High School because of all of our lockers. I have many wonderful memories but perhaps the most meaningful day I had in Hughes Hall is the day I was there as a parent as my daughter, Katie Culler, auditioned to be a voice major. To be in that building which was practically unchanged, to see the same benches in the hall that I use to sit on, to have that sense of time moving forward, yet standing still. It is a memory I’ll never forget.

Kelly Ann Bowman Culler
BME 1985
Voice — Sylvia Hummel and Mario Alch
Women’s Glee Club

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I remember standing in the hallway while members of my dissertation committee discussed my "fate." It was almost surreal when they asked me back into the room and welcomed me as "no longer a student but a colleague."

I just remember a sense of connection to music among performers, theorists, educators and historians. It was a nice reminder, after leaving a class on research design and passing an ensemble in rehearsal, that we were all there to advance the cause of music.

Mark William Gallant
MA 1988, PhD 1992

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I was given the opportunity to present a lesson to music education majors as part of an application to become a faculty member.

Enjoyed the proximity of faculty members with whom I could interact on a daily basis, also as a GTA having my desk in the hallway near the office.

Jerry L. Goodman
PhD 1985

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Performing my senior recital in Hughes Hall Auditorium.

Receiving insightful knowledge from the legendary Dr. Peter Gano in 8:30 a.m. Music History, especially the day he introduced the class to a new invention — the compact disc (CD).

Marcus Shawn Gresham
BM 1989, voice performance
Voice — Robin Rice
Symphonic Choir

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Waiting for practice rooms. Locking Hughes Hall up at night. No air conditioning. Long nights of practicing. My graduating recital, one full hour because I just could not decide what pieces to leave out!

Just like my high school. All the band students hanging out in the band room — a personal space on such a large campus.

Brenda Rempel Harper
BME 1981
Clarinet — Professors Titus and McGinnis
Concert Band 1977–1980
Wind Ensemble 1980–1981

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Lessons in Mario's studio on the second floor.

Love the old building with history. Not a fan of eliminating the old structures for new builds.

Matthew Henry
BM 1985
Voice — Mario Alch
Men's Glee Club, Scarlet and Gray Show

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A favorite event was the celebratory recital we had for the dedication of the new elevator. This would have been in 1985 or '86 probably.

My lasting memory of Hughes is the large, rounded room on the south end of the basement, where Pete Gano taught the required music history sequence. I spent a whole year of mornings in there, and Pete had a fantastic mix of historical / philosophical knowledge and a working musician's practicality.

Martin Jenkins
BM 1988
Percussion — James L. Moore
Marching Band, Symphonic Band, University Band, Military Band, Collegium Musicum

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One of my favorite memories of Hughes Hall was looking out of the 4th floor practice room window watching them build Weigel Hall. On a more musical tack, I remember giving my Bachelor's and Master's recitals on the stage at Hughes Auditorium. Even though I was nervous, those were great times. 

I'll never forget the elevator that required you to manually close the gate and (you hoped) would take you slowly to the appropriate floor. I also remember Concert Band practices in the room at the end of the first floor (I believe it was room 112 [it is actually 013]), piano class in the room close by and Ray Spillman in the repair room in the basement. I also remember sneaking in to one of the windows on the lower level after the building was locked so I could sneak in some late night practice.

Randolph Allen Luikart
BME 1981, MA 1987
Trombone — Joe Duchi
Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Trombone Choir

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Climbing through the bathroom window on weekends to practice (especially Friday nights after the doors were locked at 5 p.m.).

Jazz players and classical players hanging out until the late hours talking about music and the larger questions of human existence. I recall watching Kubrick's film Path of Glory at the theater across High Street, then running back to Hughes and gathering five people to go watch the next screening. That was followed by a long conversation about the film outside Hughes before all of us went back in to practice.

Doug Morris
BM 1983
Jazz guitar — Tom Carroll
Jazz Ensemble; small group jazz

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Performing my junior recital in Hughes Auditorium with family, friends and Dr. Droste there to listen.

The many hours spent practicing in the fourth floor practice rooms. You could always count on running into a friend and fellow music major who was getting in their practice time as well.

Alan Nordyke
BME 1989
Euphonium — Dr. Paul Droste
Concert Band

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Remembering my locker in the basement with saxophone and taking the old elevator up to practice rooms EVERY day for four and a half years. Also, my junior recital in the auditorium.

Richard L. Pearson
BME 1989
Saxophone — James Hill
Concert Band, Symphonic Band, University Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble

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My favorite memory is playing a herald trumpet fanfare with Scott Jones for the elevator opening ceremony. After several months of walking up stairs to practice rooms, everyone was excited for the new elevator to open and we were all decided to have some fun by throwing a tongue-in-cheek grand opening ceremony.

I always enjoyed running into friends by the lockers in the basement. It was the only part of campus other than Weigel lobby that felt like a small school.

Tony Philipp
BSEE 1989
Trumpet
Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Quintet, Marching Band

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My top memory would have to be the Hughes Hall practice rooms. I have fond memories of practicing hours alone and also practicing with vocal students as they prepared for their departmentals.

One of my fondest memories of Hughes Hall was my first class in the School of Music. It's the first of many times we would be in the same classes together. The School of Music was just incredible as it was a school within a school. I soaked up every second the entire time I was studying. I enrolled later in life — already being married with children — and loved studying with 18- and 19-year-olds. They even called me "Dad."

Ronald Keith Smitson
BME 1987
Piano — Donald Gren
Men's Glee Club and Symphonic Choir

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I remember being on the third floor of Hughes Hall and seeing the marquee across at the performing arts center with my name on it as a visiting artist!

I loved walking by Hughes Hall and hearing all the different musicians practicing with the windows open on the 4th floor. It was so exciting for me. I loved hearing the voices and the different instruments as I walked past on my way home to the graduate dorm.

Marti Veith
MA 1989
Voice — Marajean Marvin
The "top" choir (Chorale)

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Climbing out on a gutter (large sill) from the practice rooms (fourth floor), then getting on the roof with some beer. I don't remember what happened after that!

Gertrude Kuehefuhs, my sight-singing/ear-training teacher spoke of a room in Hughes that another professor called the "octagon soap room" (named for the old time octagon-shaped bar soap). It may have been the large rehearsal room at the end of the building (near the Oval on the first floor) — I think that it was the band room (before Weigel Hall).

Brent Russell Wilson
BME 1981, MA 1986
Cello — William Conable
Symphony Orchestra

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1990s

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Robert Shaw coming and conducting the student choruses and orchestra in Brahms Requiem.

I remember feeling extremely loved and special because my family and friends literally filled Hughes Hall Auditorium for my junior voice recital.

David Andre Bennett
BME 1993, MS 1998, MS 2009
Voice — Eileen Davis
University Chorus

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My favorite memories in the building were made in the instrument room with Ray Spillman and the many friends I made there. Ray made it a home away from home. He truly loved the students, celebrated with us, listened to us, and would give a loving "kick in the pants" when needed.

Much time was spent in the 4th floor practice rooms, and it wasn't always practicing. I will never forget hearing someone knocking on my practice room window. My friend (who shall remain nameless) was standing on the ledge with some beverage to share.

Traci Lynn (Keller) Brandt
BME 1993, MA 2000
Trumpet — Dr. Burkart
Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Athletic Bands

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Christian Lindberg came to Ohio State to record a CD, and he gave a master class in Hughes 109. He presented his master class standing up, but at one point, he pulled out a chair to sit down, while he demonstrated a very challenging tonguing exercise, in the extreme high register of the trombone  (steady double-tongued sixteenth notes, loud, on the F at the top of the treble clef). When he finished this demonstration, he paused for a few seconds to catch his breath, and one of the OSU students raised his hand to ask "why do you sit down for that exercise?" to which Christian responded, "because if I play it standing up, I faint."

When I was in Ohio State's chapter of Phi Mu Alpha, we stored some rarely-used materials in a disused space under the Hughes stage. One night as several of us were gathering the materials for a fraternity ritual, someone started a song, and when we all joined in, we discovered wonderful acoustics of that oddly-shaped space. We convened fraternity meetings there several more times, just to sing!

George Carr
BM 1994
Trombone / Bass trombone — Joseph Duchi
Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Trombone Choir, Trumpet Ensemble

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I was fortunate enough to get a work study position in the instrument room with the incomparable Ray Spillman. His care with the instruments — and especially the students who needed them — helped me quickly find a family in the School of Music. I got to meet so many fellow music students. We had fun study sessions for theory or music history there. We practiced our instruments or just sat and chatted about home or future plans. We discussed the problems of the world and learned we were all better off having each other to share the moments with and Ray was always there with a quick quirky answer or comeback that always made us laugh and brighten our day. I have so many cherished memories from the Instrument Room in Hughes Hall!

Hughes Hall 4th floor held many, many hours of practice time for me as a music major! My favorite memories of my time there, are when the cute, young, curly-haired boy — a fellow horn player from our studio — and I would practice together and try to compete for who could play the best! We have now been married for 25 years! We saw 20 years of teaching and now own and operate a set of music stores in northeast Ohio. We still enjoy that healthy competition from time to time, and are grateful for all our days and the lessons we learned in the School of Music at THE Ohio State University.

Julie Anne Curtis Connair
BME 1998
Horn — Charles Waddell
Voice — Loretta Robinson
Concert Band, Symphonic Band
Women’s Glee, Symphonic Choir

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I had a locker in Hughes Hall, and my (now) wife (BS Chemistry, 1994) would slip a note into the vent slits sometimes during a school day. Before cell phones, it was our method of texting! "Meet me for lunch at the Flying Tomato," "Have to work late in the lab tonight," or maybe a note of encouragement, flirting, or even a crossword puzzle from The Lantern that needed help. Likewise, I could tuck a note for her there — or write it in pencil on the front — so we stayed connected despite our very different majors.

The orange curtains of the stage made an indelible first impression. I can still picture the view from the stage, looking out at my family while singing my junior and senior recitals with pianist Barbara Sahr. Then celebrating in the "opera workshop" room at the south end of the first floor.

In a less official way, I remember the practice rooms on the top floor were so hot in the winter that everyone had to leave the window open or suffocate (which played havoc with the pianos there)!

Andrew Crow
BA 1995
Voice — C. Patrick Woliver
Men's Glee Club, Chorale

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Favorite guest artist memory — Robert Shaw visiting as emeritus professor and conducting all the university choirs and orchestra in the Brahms Requiem.

As a 9th and 10th grader, I took my first horn lessons in the practice rooms on the 4th floor of Hughes Hall with grad student Kent Larmee. Six years later I returned as a transfer student to complete my BME. I often rose very early to meet the custodial staff when they opened the building at 6 a.m. so I could practice uninterrupted on the 4th floor for a couple hours before my first class. And my favorite room to practice in, when I could get it, was the first floor room with the high ceilings on the end of the hall nearest the quad (Oval). They were good days and years!

Sarah (Witt) Haas
BME 1994
French Horn — Chuck Waddell
Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra

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As primarily an ear player, I had a very difficult time with music theory. I spent the first quarter sweating it, sure that I would have an F in the class. I still remember the day when I was in class in Hughes Hall with Lora Gingerich teaching, and all of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head. I'm not sure what she said or showed us, but it was as if the curtain parted and I could see the light. Truly suddenly, theory made sense! So much so that I ended up switching majors to music theory and composition. I spent HOURS in the Hughes Hall practice rooms — rarely practicing flute, as I should have, but rather playing piano, singing and writing things down — which worked out better for me in the long run!

I remember one specific time, hiding and panicking in the first floor girls bathroom at 7:50 a.m., just before a music history test. It was a test over Chant, which I struggled to identify differences in at the time. Another friend of mine was hiding and panicking there the same day. That was a safe place for a lot of us!

Sarah Hart
BA 1991
Flute — Katherine Borst Jones
Symphonic Ensemble

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It was an average spring quarter day when we walked in to Form and Analysis class. Dr. [Burdette] Green was staring out the window while we were seated, and he continued to stand silent and stare out the window for some time after class was supposed to have begun. As he continued to stare out the window, he began to speak. "Do you know what building that is? It's the art department building. Do you know what those boxes on top are? They are air conditioning units. Why does the art department have air conditioning and we do not? Because art majors are soft. Musicians, we're tough." He then went on and continued with class as normal.

I remember how perfect having music history in the basement at 7:30 a.m. was. Totally the right atmosphere for that class.

Steve Kauffman
BME 1994, MA 2004
Tuba — Robert LeBlanc and Jim Akins
Symphonic Band

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My wife Barb noted my interest in music. She suggested attending some "older folks" classes. I did that. But while doing so, I asked myself, "Why not just enroll as a regular student?" And that's what I did, and I became a 57-year-old first-year. Then, one day I asked Jim Gallagher if I could join Men's Glee Club. He said OK which led to my first MGC concert. While taking my place on the risers, I caught Barb's eye. Her smile was so bright and happy. After graduation, I taught elementary general music in Westerville City Schools.

I was captivated by the way a person always held a door open for someone else.

Jim Keyes
BME 1999
Voice — Karen Peeler
Symphonic Choir, Men's Glee Club

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In the basement auditorium of Hughes Hall, I attempted to perform the Bitsch "Four Variations on a D. Scarlatti Theme" during fall of my sophomore year, during a brass section recital. It went so badly that I left the School of Music at the end of fall quarter and started pursuing an engineering degree. Two years later, I returned and completed my music education degree, while successfully performing the same piece during my senior recital.

I loved the central practice room in each hallway of the fourth floor. Although they were the smallest, they had the most window space, and were bright and cheerful spaces.

John Konicek
BME 1997
Trumpet — Richard Burkart
Wind Ensemble, Marching BAND

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I used to love chatting with Ray in the basement instrument repair room.

The building had a unique character; the lecture hall, the oddly large auditorium, the creepy practice rooms, and the extremely slippery-when-icy marble steps. Very fond memories and stories indeed.

Stephanie Hall Lange
BME 1997, MA 2005
Clarinet — James Pyne
Symphonic Band, University Band

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Monday night flute studio getting performance experience. Playing degree recitals for myself and participating on others' recitals as well. Taking instrument repair with Ray Spillman.

Coming back in 2019 and teaching a guest class for KBJ’s studio in Hughes Hall.

Amy Likar
MM 1994, DMA 1999
Flute — Katherine Borst Jones
Orchestra, Wind Ensemble

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Hughes Hall was a special place where I practiced and had my recital and reception. Most of my music classes were in the building. The instrument room in the basement was often a place I visited. Some of my favorite classes and teachers had offices in the building.

The rooms with the glass block were often used for history and methods courses. Just a beautiful space. I remember walking out onto the stage for my recital and seeing so many friends and loved ones there to support me. Always was home to me as a music major.

Dana Boos Matunas
BME 1997
French horn — Chuck Waddell
Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Horn Ensemble

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I met my husband in Hughes Hall. At first, I thought, who does this guy think he is? Then we started going out to lunch together with the group, and one day I was standing at my locker, and he came up behind me and put his arms around me, and I thought, "I could get used to this." And 25 years (this May) and two kids later, we are still making music together.

The thing about Hughes Hall I remember is that it helped me stay in shape. The elevator was waaayyyy too slow to take on a regular basis, so I got pretty fast at climbing the stairs from the ear training labs in the basement to the practice rooms on the 4th floor. Doing that while lugging a heavy backpack on a daily basis was a good workout!

Beth DeLong Pittman
BME 1991, MA 1994, MM 1996
Voice — Eileen Davis and Karen Peeler
Ohio State Chorale, Women's Glee Club

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I have the fondest memories of Ray Spillman's instrument room in the basement, which was an absolute nexus of the universe! His instrument repair class was the single most practical and useful course I have ever taken in any of my four music degrees.

The practice rooms! From those old-school double doors that liked to open unexpectedly, to the occasional commentary from construction workers fixing the roof, to the commiserations and deep conversations that we had late into the evenings as we all were trying to figure out life and music and everything in between. I spent so many hours there, learning how to be a creative human and a professional clarinetist. 

Dr. Elisabeth Stimpert
BM 1997
Clarinet — James Pyne
Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, I Clarinetti Virtuosi

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2000s

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I have so many memories of Hughes Hall, as I spent the majority of my time in this building. From the trek to the 4th floor practice rooms, chatting with Ray Spillman in the instrument repair area to fix my clarinet, countless recitals and classes in Hughes Auditorium, Sigma Alpha Iota meetings, having the same locker for 5 years, and sitting on the floor in the second floor with my voice friends (yes, you, Brian Armbrust) outside of our studios for HOURS — there are just too many to name.

The smell. Hughes Hall had a certain smell, especially in the basement. I remember sitting out in front on the steps where the benches were on warm sunny days. I always liked the little back center stairs that went from the first floor to the basement by the side stage door entrance. Like it was a little secret area that you only knew if you knew the building. The hum of the elevator, and how slow it was. How creepy the 4th floor practice rooms were at night and how dark it was up there. I always remember all of the receptions we had in the big rounded room on the first floor that looked out into the Oval, this was also where we had large classes, SAI meetings, and Master Singers Rehearsals. There was also a nice big classroom right next to this room that I love practicing in because the acoustics in there were great for singing.

Shelly Rose Beaty (McMonigal)
BM 2001
Voice Performance — Loretta Robinson
Symphonic Choir, Women's Glee Club, University Chorus, Master Singers

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I met my future spouse at Ohio State. Lots of people have that story. My future husband worked in the instrument room to help support his education, and there were many evenings that I would make dinner for both of us, bring it over, and then go practice while he worked. Sometimes we would nap in each other’s practice rooms between classes while the other person practiced.

Deanna Kristina Brizgys
BM 2006
Clarinet — James Pyne
Wind Symphony, Orchestra

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Drummer Jeff Hamilton gave a clinic in Hughes Hall Auditorium. Seeing his artistry up close, specifically using brushes on the drum set, was mesmerizing and inspiring.

Our freshman class felt like a family. I didn't spend much time in Hughes outside of academic classes (percussion practice rooms are in Weigel), but gathering with the same group quarter after quarter for theory, history and other courses really brought us together.

Justin Bunting
BM 2008
Percussion — Susan Powell
Percussion Ensemble, Fifes and Drums, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra

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I have fond memories of the three DMA recitals I performed in Hughes Hall Auditorium. The space was more intimate than Weigel Auditorium.

During the hotter months, I dreaded practicing on the top floor of the building.

Antoine T. Clark
DMA 2009 (clarinet performance), MM 2016 (orchestral conducting)
Clarinet — James Pyne
Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra

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So many of our later-year courses were in professors' offices, and I fondly remember 10–12 voice students piling into the office of Eileen Davis, Karen Peeler, Patrick Woliver  etc. and learning about foreign language diction, art song repertoire, vocal pedagogy, etc. It's hard to imagine such a crowd in such a tiny space these days, especially considering the pandemic, but those were fun, warm moments.

The cacophony of the fourth floor hallway, with sounds of every voice type and instrument flowing from the practice rooms.

Elizabeth Gillespie
BM 2001
Voice — Karen Peeler
Symphonic Choir, Choral, Opera


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I remember the first time I heard a composition of mine played in a classroom on the first floor of Hughes. It wasn't a great piece, but it was mine and it came to life that day.

I always enjoyed waiting until after dinner and practicing in the large room in the basement to the farthest south. There was a great sound in that room which made it a true joy to work on tone.

Andy Harris
BME 2002
Saxophone — Jim Hill
Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Saxophone Ensemble

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I don't think I have one specific story that I can think of, but when I think of Hughes I think of a lot of memories of professors and friends. Whether that be Chris Weait sitting in his green recliner, Don Harris wearing a Halloween mask to deliver our counterpoint midterm on Halloween, Pete Tender being our first "favorite" teacher in music tech, Lynn Singleton always being supportive to everyone, many SAI ceremonies in Hughes 13, and countless chamber ensemble performances and recitals with my best friends, I have many fond memories of Hughes.

I would say a general thought about the building itself is how you never felt like you were alone. Weigel Hall would always clear out by the evening if there were no concerts, but there were always people in Hughes, day and night.

Emily Klepinger (Patronik), current School of Music Academic Advisor
BME 2007, MM 2009, DMA 2013
Bassoon — Chris Weait and Karen Pierson
Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, New Music Ensemble

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I met my husband in the horn studio. We ended up sitting next to each other in Wind Symphony for several pieces. At the time we started dating, there were three couples in the horn studio. Two ended in marriage. Those horn choir practices in Hughes 109 were quite the matchmaking event.

I always loved walking by Hughes and hearing the cacophony of practice sounds. In the spring, as everyone was practicing for juries, the 4th floor windows would all be open to keep the heat down. The instrumental practicing would all blend together in a sound that started to sound like home.

Danielle (Oplinger) Lorenz
BM 2003
Horn — Professor Waddell
Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Orchestra

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I think one of my favorite memories of Hughes Hall was when Paul Robinson convinced Victor Wooten to do an in-person master class. This would have been '05 or '06. Victor was in town on tour and had his record release at the Newport. I convinced my Spanish teacher to let me postpone a test to attend, and one of my closest music school friends Adam Maynard had the chance to play his bass! Since this was before the time of smartphones I only have a grainy flip phone photo of it, but I know that was a special moment for all of us.

My first day walking into Hughes as a student, September 2003. I went to the basement to check out a bass. Another student saw this and said hello, introduced himself, and invited me to a concert that night. We've been friends ever since. The same day, I was sitting on the steps outside Hughes enjoying the weather and thought I saw a familiar face. Sure enough, it was an old friend and bandmate from high school. We hadn't seen each other in years. We stayed close all through undergrad and keep in touch to this day. Oh, and all of the music theory classes! I became friends with Dr. Mark Lomax in Hughes Hall, Dane Terry, Josh Hill, Chad Greenwald, and so many other great people and musicians. I have a lot of great memories in Hughes Hall, and I learned so many great lessons. The greatest of all was from Paul Robinson (of course it was!). On the door to his office, and later on the door to my office (also at OSU!), was a small piece of paper with the simple message - "We don't have to do this. We get to do this." That point of view has stuck with me for almost 20 years now. But for Ohio State...

Anthony D. McCoy
BA 2009 / BS 2009
Bass — Paul Robinson, Roger Hines, Andy Woodson
Jazz Combo, University Band

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I loved being a graduate teaching assistant for the voice area. I taught class voice and private lessons. After finishing my degree, I sought out opportunities to continue teaching private and group voice lessons and developed many successful studios across the country over the years.

I grew so much during my two years in Hughes Hall. I arrived as a good singer and left as a competitive performer and competent instructor. I spent much of my time on the practice floor of that building — for my own practice sessions, for teaching voice lessons, and even for eating packed lunches with the other voice teaching assistants between activities. I built my first snowman right next to Hughes Hall. I fondly recall that event, image, and [Hughes Hall] backdrop every time I build a snowman.

Lindy Eller Pendzick
MM 2005
Voice — Dr. Karen Peeler
Choral group for graduate students under the direction of Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt

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I spent a few late nights on the stage in Hughes Hall trying desperately to play a B-flat on the tuba. I was a lost cause. My friend was trying to help me and eventually we gave up. It worked out though because we ended up getting married and he plays the tuba! I never have to be able to do it myself!

I played my senior flute recital on that stage. I played a piece I had listened to since I was in high school and fell in love with. I had always said to myself “If I can play this piece, I’ll know I’ve made it.” That afternoon in the auditorium in Hughes Hall was when I made it.

I used to be the band librarian. The place where the music was kept was like a secret crypt where few people ever went. It was such a cool, old, slightly musty-smelling space. I was honored to get to work in it just because no one else ever went down there!

Christina Lyons Roberts
BME 2006, MM 2011
Flute — Katherine Borst Jones
Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Marching Band

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Between class piano, theory, music history, jazz drum lessons and methods classes, I think my favorite memory would be lugging my double bass drum pedal, my 2 legged Hi-Hat stand with cymbals all the way from the lockers in the basement to the practice rooms on the 4th floor and drumming until all hours of the night.

I always liked being in Hughes Hall. There was a certain nostalgia to it. I remember the day I picked up my first folder of band music and how I felt back then as a freshman. I also remember being with my advisor, and meeting with Dr. Mikkelson and Professor Blatti.

Benjamin Smith
BME 2003
Percussion
Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble

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2010s

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My fondest memory of Hughes Hall was my late-night practice sessions, where many of the most dedicated students (and faculty) would hone their craft. The conversations around music and the amazing music being practiced in those times continue to push and inspire me today.

I remember the long wait for the elevator in the basement while I carried two (sometimes more) instruments so I could ride up to the 4th floor to practice.

Casey Grev
BM 2012
BME 2012
Saxophone — James Hill
Wind Symphony, Saxophone Quartet

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My favorite memory from Hughes hall was my senior recital. It was such a blessing to get to share everything I learned with the people I cared about most. My other favorite memory was Hughes Hall in the evenings. There was no air conditioning in the practice rooms, so in the warmer months the practice floor would come alive at night.

Hughes Hall was very dilapidated when we were there. They renovated it some a year or so after I left, but my favorite part about Hughes Hall was the feeling of family every time I went to practice or between classes. You were always surrounded by people you knew and who supported and encouraged you.

Jennifer Rasper (Ferguson)
BM 2010
Oboe — Robert Sorton
Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Women's Glee Club, Symphonic Choir

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The never-ending joys of performing in Hughes Hall Auditorium with the sounds of trucks and construction happening just outside the door! Performing in that hall prepared me for performance in any condition! Hot, cold, noisy or quiet!

I always loved walking the building in winter meeting all of the prospective students there for audition days or OSU Honor Band. I was once one of them, and loved sharing information about the school with them as we toured and got our workouts in on the stairs to the practice rooms!

Arthur Joshua Robinson
BM 2015
Horn — Bruce Henniss
Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra

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I recall very vividly the first time I performed on the Hughes Auditorium stage at the first year voice recital in 2012. It was the first time in my adult life that I felt like I'd truly found the "thing" I'd want to do for the rest of my life.

I remember the joy and pride I had when I became a master's student in voice after having completed the BM degree, and how much fun I had with my cohort in our offices on the fourth floor of Hughes. I won't miss the paper wasps that would take over much of the building during the summers BUT I will certainly miss the excitement of sitting in front of the voice board prior to my lessons and coachings with Dr. Robin Rice and Ed Bak.

Justin T. Swain
BM 2016, MM 2018, MA 2018
Voice — Dr. Robin Rice and Dr. Scott McCoy
Symphonic Choir, Lyric Opera Theatre

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I will never forget the evening I participated in a masterclass with Michael Sachs, principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra. Getting to play for him and receive guidance was a surreal experience. I will always cherish hearing him say “First of all, I wish I’d had that sound at your age.”

Matthew Zelnik
BME 2014
Trumpet — Dr. Rich Burkart
Wind Symphony, Trumpet Studio

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FACULTY

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As a 1963 graduate of the School of Music, I was honored and thrilled to be hired as an instructor of trumpet in 1966. My first office was a very small room on the 3rd floor next to Jack Evans' office. Jack was the faculty member who hired me. I was hired not only to teach trumpet but to play in the newly-formed faculty brass quintet along side my previous trumpet professor and new colleague Dick Suddendorf. Over the years I taught many students who went on to enjoy success as music educators and performers. I still keep in touch with many of them.

One of my favorite memories is being part of the first performance of the Faculty Brass Quintet on the Hughes Hall stage in January of 1967. Another great memory is directing the Jazz Ensemble for the first time in concert on the Hughes Hall stage in the spring of 1970. We had been rehearsing in room 13 in the basement of Hughes a couple times a week. Room 13 was NOT an ideal room for a 20-piece jazz band! All that changed, of course, when Weigel Hall was built several years later.

Faculty Brass Quintet, 1971
Faculty Brass Quintet on the steps of Hughes Hall. Left to right: Jim Jones, horn; Tom Battenberg, trumpet; Paul Droste, trombone; Richard Burkart, trumpet; Bob LeBlanc, tuba.
Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble, 1970
1970 Jazz Ensemble (directed by Tom Battenberg) on the Hughes Hall stage.


Thomas Virgil Battenberg
Years on faculty 1966–92, Hughes 3rd floor, played and taught trumpet, taught jazz history and jazz ensemble techniques, performed in faculty brass quintet, assistant director of School of Music 1987–92, retired as emeritus full professor
Directed Jazz Ensemble 1970–90

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As a 1968 graduate student in Music Education, I fondly remember performing the Poulenc “Gloria” with the 110-voice summer chorus. The choir was conducted by Professor Norman Staiger.

Grateful that the Men’s Glee Club normally held rehearsals in Weigel Hall, occasionally rehearsing in Hughes Hall, room 13 acoustics, revealed things not usually detected previously. Although visually unattractive, the tall ceiling and hard plaster walls created a very live acoustic that proved beneficial to the singers and the conductor.

James S. Gallagher
Vocal Pedagogy, Choral Conducting, Choral Repertoire
Men’s Glee Club, Symphonic Choir, Scarlet & Gray

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There are a lot of experiences that remain with me from my years in Hughes Hall. My office for years was 101D Hughes, which, when I first arrived, was the music library, headed by Olga Buth. My initial office was a cubicle down the hall that was to become a piano lab. All the other history faculty and some theory faculty were there as well.

Hughes Auditorium and later room 13 — at 8 a.m. — lots of coffee!

I also remember that Hughes Hall was a bit of a haven during the tumult of spring 1970.

I will never forget standing behind the audio box and piano in front of the stage in Hughes Auditorium at 8 a.m. for the first time. I had been in classroom before, but not like this one — 250 not-so-eager early morning (primarily) freshmen. I thought, “Here we go!”

My first words were, “I’d like to begin... .” and I really never looked back. A great season of my life was spent in Hughes Hall and on the campus as a whole. “Time and change...."

Peter William Gano
I taught in the Music History Division (undergrad and grad), started by teaching Music 141 (Appreciation) in September 1968; served as Division Chair, 1985–1988.

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Hughes Hall was the first building constructed after World War II. Eugene Weigel advocated and lobbied with the Ohio legislator for the building as School of Music Chair. Discover the history of Hughes Hall and the School of Music at music.osu.edu.

My memories go back to 1970 when I was a master’s student in flute performance. I typically spent almost all day in Hughes Hall as I took classes, practiced, taught lessons on the fourth floor as a graduate teaching assistant, participated in Concert Band rehearsals on the stage of Hughes Auditorium as well as Symphony Orchestra rehearsals in Hughes 109, among other activities. How did we fit 90 musicians on the stage? Once in your seat, you didn’t get up! Faculty studios varied in size. Some were wonderfully big and others so small that you could almost touch the walls, through which you could clearly hear your neighbor’s music-making . The flute studio was next to the bassoon studio in a suite, so you could clearly hear between the two very small studios. The fact that we were squeezed in together did create a wonderful sense of camaraderie, with many fun pranks. Some of you might remember the rubber chicken?

Special memories from the early days include faculty recitals, master classes and the Elevator Party in Hughes Auditorium — a fun event attended by most of the School and invited guests, including the elevator company president, who presented the key to the new elevator to our director, Dr. David Meeker. The event was full of fun and clever pieces like Ode to the Elevator, a poem accompanied by autoharp (Dr. Joan Lehr), an elevator cheer, etc. We issued formal invitations to various dignitaries across campus, including those from Facilities. That summer the ceiling fell in (fortunately, no one was hurt). Work was completed quickly, perhaps because of the fun they had at our event!

We hosted the great French flutist, Jean-Pierre Rampal, for master classes in the '70s and then again in the '90s. I was privileged to play Piece by Jacques Ibert for him. Many guest artists, faculty and students performed on the stage through the years. I presented my master’s recitals  in Hughes Auditorium. During one recital, as I was playing the unaccompanied Sequenza by Berio, the elevator came crashing down, adding a percussion effect to my performance. Remember the tiny recording booth, run by students, where in those days reel-to-reel tapes documented our performances? These are but a few events of thousands through the years.

More current memories (as a faculty member since 1985) include enjoying my large studio, Hughes 208, which has been the home to many legendary voice faculty in previous years. Attending numerous recitals and concerts in Hughes Auditorium provides many special memories. The Flute Studio has enjoyed Monday night studio classes in Hughes Auditorium since 1987. We also rehearse the Ohio State Flute Troupe, a flute choir consisting of all flute majors. These classes provide students with the opportunity to perform for each other in the place where they will present their degree recitals. During the COVID pandemic we were able to continue, with masks and proper spacing. One particular class stands out — after hearing solo performances, we all circled the outskirts of the auditorium to remain distanced and performed the tune, White Coral Bells, in unison and then as a round, with twenty flute players. Making music together in person was a gift I will never forget. So beautiful. We were all transported to the magic of what it means to make music together, to feel the vibrations live. To blend, phrase, play with dynamics and sing the music as one!

In spite of its look, its lack of a green room and appropriate backstage area, Hughes Auditorium has continually been a wonderfully resonant performance space enjoyed by soloists and ensemble players.

Walking into Hughes Hall every day, I have been reminded of the thousands of musicians, faculty, students, guests and audiences, who have seized the opportunity to make and witness music. Music is art for all, an essential art that heals as it entertains.

Katherine Borst Jones
Professor of Flute and Area Head of Orchestral Instruments

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Moving a harp to Hughes

Having experienced this personally through the years and on behalf of the harp studios past and present, we will not regret having to deal with the elevator in Hughes. We have certified this elevator takes longer to arrive at the stage level from first floor in Hughes than it does to cross the street, transporting a harp, from Weigel TO Hughes, inclement weather or no. Historic turtle speed! Rest In Peace.

Jeanne Norton
Associated Faculty, Harp

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The first time I entered Hughes Hall was in 1968. I was a senior music major at Muskingum College. I was writing a paper about the history of the horn and needed the books available in the Ohio State School of Music library. The music library was on the first floor of Hughes at the north end of the building. That area later became musicology faculty offices. The books helped greatly in completing that senior level honors project.

The next time I entered Hughes Hall was in 1980 when I auditioned to become the horn professor at the School of Music. This was in the auditorium. Professor Donald Gren was my accompanist and Kent Larmee was the student I taught, as part of the audition process. From 1980 until my retirement in 2007, many horn students performed their degree recitals in Hughes Auditorium. Many good memories.

Charles F. Waddell, horn
Horn Ensemble

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The Music Library in Hughes Hall

Music Library in Hughes Hall, circa 1950

A photo (ca. 1950) of the reading room of the first Music Library, which was located where the musicology offices have been located for decades — at the north end of the first floor. The library book and score stacks were located below this space, where the ensemble library collections were housed most recently.

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Wallace Look

The first three professional music librarians at Ohio State, who managed the Music Library when it was located in Hughes Hall, were Wallace Look (pictured, ca. 1950–1954), Olga Buth (ca. 1958–1975) and Elizabeth H. Olmstead (ca. 1954–1958) who then moved to Oberlin College where she served as Conservatory Librarian from 1958 to 1974.

The music library was relocated to Sullivant Hall ca. 1975, during a period when there was no professional music librarian. Dr. Thomas Heck (1943–2001) served as librarian from 1978 to 2000, well after the library relocation to Sullivant Hall.