The Department of Music is housed in Goodwin Hall, conveniently located in the south central area of the Auburn campus on Samford Avenue. The unique structure is comprised of two buildings, connected with an upper level concourse atop an outdoor breezeway on the main level. The concourse serves as a central gathering place for students between classes and practice. The breezeway bustles with pedestrian traffic throughout the day, as it is a main thoroughfare between the central campus and the residence halls in the southern part of campus.
Goodwin Hall contains two main performing spaces, a 220-seat recital hall and a 125-seat multi-purpose hall (Stephenson Hall). The recital hall hosts most of the recitals given by faculty, guest artists and students. Stephenson Hall is a technologically advanced multimedia lecture hall used primarily for the numerous classes in music appreciation that are given for hundreds of students each semester. With enviable acoustics, the space is also a popular site for recitals and master classes.
The Department is home to four Steinway grand pianos, considered the world’s finest pianos for over 150 years. Two of the pianos are rare pre-1930’s instruments that are revered by pianists. One of the instruments, a 1927 D-scale nine-foot grand, was unbelievably found in the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, where it had fallen into disrepair. The other is a 1919 A-scale grand piano. These instruments are considered to be two of the finest grand pianos in the Southeast.
The 56,459 square foot Goodwin Hall was made possible in part through the generosity of James W. Goodwin and Virginia M. Goodwin. An engineer and Auburn graduate (class of ‘27), Mr. Goodwin was in favor of a modern facility devoted to music instruction, practice and performance. As the story is told, he promised Auburn President Harry Philpott before the 1972 Iron Bowl that he would fund the second phase of the music building if Auburn won. Auburn upset Alabama and Goodwin gave $1 million to finish the project.
The structure was completed in 1974 and reflects some of the prevailing architectural styles of the time, emphasizing geometric design and open use of space. Adjacent to the Goodwin Hall buildings are Telfair Peet Theatre, Dudley Hall and the Graves Amphitheatre, known together as the Harry Melvin Philpott Fine Arts Center.
- Major Contributors: James W. Goodwin (b. 1904-1996) and Virginia M. Goodwin (1920-2008)
- Architects: Northington, Smith, Kranert, Tomblin & Associates of Huntsville, AL (now SKT Architects, P.C.)
- Completion date: 1974
- Location: Samford Avenue, between Mell Street and Duncan Drive, in the south central area of campus; neighboring Telfair Peet Theatre, Miller Gorrie Center and Dudley Hall
- Size: 56,459 square feet
- Floors: 2
- Buildings: 2 (connected with an upper level concourse)
- Large ensemble rehearsal spaces: 2
- Performance spaces: 2
- Practice rooms: 26 soundproof rooms
- Technology: State-of-the-art multimedia lecture hall (Stephenson Hall); Multimedia instructional classroom with Smart Board interactive whiteboard system; Computer lab; Digital piano lab; Recording lab; Wireless connectivity (WPA2-encrypted wireless 802.11 b/g/n secure network)
Performances by both large and small ensembles also take place in off-campus local venues that accommodate additional needs of performer and audience.
Jule Collins Smith Museum
901 South College Street, Auburn
127-seat auditorium and 50-seat rotunda
Opelika Center for the Performing Arts
1700 Lafayette Parkway, Opelika
The Auburn University Libraries has a collection of over three million volumes and a current library materials budget of $5.6 million. The music collection is located on the first and third floors of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library, a short walk from Goodwin Hall. In addition to the volumes of books, printed music, journals and sound recordings present in the library, students and faculty have access to many online resources including the Grove Music Online and the Naxos Music Library. The library also houses the Media and Digital Resource Laboratory. Staffed with experienced, technologically skilled employees, the MDRL contains the latest multimedia hardware and software.
Liza Weisbrod, Music Librarian
Last Updated: January 18, 2017