On Campus

Donald & Maureen Green Music Center Opens its First Building

Construction Continues on the Concert Hall, Schroeder’s Recital Hall and the Hospitality Center

Concert HallView of the Concert Hall and wall that opens to the outdoors.


The warm months of this past summer found faculty in the Department of Music sorting through their offices in Charles Ives Hall, packing what they would take to the brand new Music Education Hall in the Donald & Maureen Green Music Center. Last month the first students took classes in Music Education Hall. As the finishing touches were being put on the hall in July, Jeff Langley, professor of music and artistic director of the Green Music Center said, “Look at these classrooms. They are beautiful and have the latest technologies for teaching—and the windows provide such light and wonderful views. I can’t wait to get my students in here.” And that’s what he and other faculty have done. Music Education Hall has numerous practice and ensemble rooms, large and small, as well as the two 60-student classrooms in which Langley and other faculty are teaching.

Melodic notes from pianos, concertos and jazz music from music appreciation courses, and other music fill the air. Small student groups practice together in ensemble rooms while others gather in the student lounge or the music library. All around them construction continues on the rest of the Green Music Center.

students in a keyboarding classStudents in a keyboarding class taking instruction from Professor Marilyn Thompson.

The GMC is comprised of four buildings: Music Education Hall, the Concert Hall, Schroeder’s Recital Hall (named for Charles Schulz’ Peanuts character), and a hospitality center that includes dining and meeting spaces and is expected to open this spring. Music Education Hall is fenced for safety at this time, although most of the construction work is on the inside of the other buildings. Still, students and faculty can perhaps imagine the Center on a warm Sonoma County night in a few years as guests arrive to enjoy a concert in the main hall or in Schroeder’s. They might envision sitting within the great hall in one of the 1,400 seats to enjoy a Santa Rosa Symphony (orchestra-in-residence) performance or one of the many other events being planned.

The GMC will be a bustling center for creativity, the interchange of teaching and learning, and myriad performance experiences such as Wynton Marsalis, the Emerson String Quartet, or Bonnie Raitt. The Green Music Center will host a wide mix of community and campus-related events such as classical, jazz, folk/country, Reggae, pop/rock or lectures, readings and classes.

The GMC is a dream moving toward reality. Donald & Maureen Green, the founding philanthropists, envisioned the complex to be one supporting students of all ages and being a place where the community can come together for enjoyment and their love of music.

Freshman Voice major Daniel CorpusFreshman Voice major Daniel Corpus of Gilroy, CA chose Sonoma State University in part because of the Green Music Center. “It struck the right vibe and the support of music education is strong.”

The Green Music Center has attracted unprecedented public and private support and has provided an entrée for the community to get involved with SSU’s academic, intellectual and cultural activities. The University is now transforming those buildings into a world-class experience with contributions for interior furnishings and amenities, as well as grounds landscaping.

An anonymous donor has come forward with a $2.5 million challenge and is matching Green Music Center donations. To date, more than $2 million has been donated to meet the challenge.

Weekly public hardhat tours (“Tuesday Tours”) have seen hundreds of visitors wanting to see the complex.

For more information about the Green Music Center or to take a tour, go to the website at http://gmc.sonoma.edu or contact University Development at (707) 664-2712.