Department of Music

Our Facilities

Spaces at Brown University for music performance, recording, studio production, practice, rehearsal, and course meetings.

Department of Music Spaces

Orwig Music Building

Orwig Music Building is located at 1 Young Orchard Avenue and houses many music classes and lectures as well as the Music Department offices.

The Orwig Music Building occupies a building at 1 Young Orchard Avenue, which was built about 1850 for Byron Sprague, son of manufacturer Amasa Sprague. After the collapse of the Sprague business in 1873, the house passed into other hands and was eventually purchased by I. Gifford Ladd. At this time the stone-trimmed brick Italianate mansion was remodeled by architects Carrère and Hastings and given a French Renaissance exterior. Later the building was the Hope Hospital, was sold to Bryant College and named South Hall, and was acquired by Brown in 1969 with the purchase of the Bryant College campus. The music complex was named for Benton B. Orwig, class of 1920, in consideration of a donation by his widow, Virginia Baldwin Orwig. The music library in the new wing built in 1988 was named for Mrs. Orwig, and was dedicated on two days in May 1988 at exercises featuring a performance by the Charleston String Quartet and an address by Joseph B. Kerman, professor of music at the University of California. When it opened, the new library contained 12,000 recordings, 10,000 scores, and 15,000 books and serials.

Steinert Hall

Steinert Hall at 148 Power Street is the home to a variety of facilities. Some of our recording studio and production rooms are at Steinert as well as our studios/offices for our Music & Multimedia Composition PhD program. The building features the Practice Center -- 13 rooms, each containing a piano, available nearly any time of day or night for Brown students, faculty, or staff to use for individual practice time. The building also has a large room that serves as both a rehearsal space for the Brown University Chorus and a keyboard lab for our music theory courses.

About the Studios at Steinert

Recording studios and equipment are for the use of students and faculty working on music studio related coursework or research. Student use will be limited to rooms that are relevant to each student's class work as determined by class instructors and teaching assistants. Authorized students can book studio time in advance.

Grant Recital Hall

Grant Recital Hall, located behind Orwig Music Building, is a 133-seat performance venue with a lobby/reception space. Grant is where most of our concerts take place and is particularly suitable for recitals, multimedia performances, and concerts by smaller ensembles such as the Brown Jazz Combos, Chamber Music groups, the Ghanaian drumming ensemble, and the Javanese Gamelan ensemble, among many others.

Morrison-Gerard Studios

Morrison-Gerard Studios, just behind Orwig Music Building and adjacent to Fulton Rehearsal Hall, houses six small rooms typically used for individual music instruction and Chamber Music rehearsal. Access to the percussion studio is limited to players in the Jazz Band or Combos, Wind Symphony & Percussion Ensemble, and Applied Music Program. Authorized students and groups may request practice time.

Fulton Rehearsal Hall

Fulton Hall, located behind Orwig Music Building and nestled between Grant Recital Hall and Morrison-Gerard Studios, is the Music Department's largest rehearsal space, used primarily by the bands. Students in the 18-piece Jazz Band, Jazz Combos, Wind Symphony & Percussion Ensemble, and in the Brown Band, all make use of this space.

Additional Facilities for Performing Arts at Brown

Sayles Hall

Sayles Hall is not a Music facility per se. Located on the college's main green, it is a University building that provides space for myriad departments and student groups. The Department of Music enjoys this venue to present concerts by the Brown University Orchestra, the Brown University Chorus, and recitals by University Organist Mark Steinbach, among other events.

Sayles Hall was dedicated on June 4, 1881, a memorial to William Clark Sayles 1878 donated by his father, William F. Sayles. Young Sayles, who entered Brown in 1874, died on February 13, 1876. On June 14, 1878 his father wrote to President Robinson offering $50,000 for a building “which shall be exclusively and forever devoted to lectures and recitations, and to meetings on academic occasions.” His letter added, “I have selected this Commencement, when my dear son, if living, would have graduated, for the expression of what I hope will be regarded with favor, in order that when his classmates are conferring credit on their Alma Mater, his brief life may also not be without a beneficial influence on the institution he loved so well.”

Sayles Hall, designed by Alpheus C. Morse, is of the Romanesque style. The front section, 35 by 75 feet, is two stories high, with a central tower one story higher topped by a hipped roof and dormer windows, and was designed to house recitation rooms. The back, or east, section, which has only one story with a gabled roof, housed a large meeting hall, which was soon put to use for alumni dinners. The exterior is of rock-faced red Westerly granite trimmed with reddish-brown Longmeadow stone, with a slated roof ornamented with red bands. The building soon began to fill another need, as the baseball team found it a convenient place to train in the off-season. In 1912 the Department of Economics moved from the basement of Sayles Hall into the former library (Robinson Hall), making space for the Department of Geology.

The organ in Sayles Hall was a gift in 1903 of Lucian Sharpe 1893 in memory of his parents. His letter to President Faunce offering the gift stipulated that the instrument should be selected by Professor Joseph N. Ashton and Dr. Jules Jordan. To receive the organ, which weighed about 25 tons, the old gallery in Sayles Hall was replaced by a new one with a projecting center, under the direction of architects Stone, Carpenter and Willson. The organ was built by the Hutchings-Votey Organ Company of Boston and has more than three thousand pipes. At Commencement of 1903 the opening recital on the organ was given by eminent Belgian organist Chevalier August Wiegand. In 1924 Mrs. Lownes endowed an annual organ recital known as “Edgar J. Lownes Memory Day,” a memorial to her late husband. In 1949 the organ received its first complete renovation, which involved the installation of a new console laid out by A. W. Imhoff of the Schantz Organ Company. The latest restoration by the Potter-Rathbun Company of Cranston was undertaken in 1990. The Brown organ is now the largest remaining Hutchings-Votey organ of its type, as the others have been dismantled and replaced rather than repaired. The restored organ was rededicated on Commencement weekend of 1992 with a performance by University organist Wayne Schneider of a new work by Stephen Scott ’69 M.A.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright ©1993 by the Brown University Library.

Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

Home of the Brown Arts Institute, the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts serves as a catalyst for collaboration and experimentation among the arts, sciences and humanities. It is a place where creative thinkers from across disciplines come together to exchange ideas, explore processes and methods, and develop new art forms.

Designed by the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro and opened in 2011, the 35,000 square foot facility features the 200-seat Martinos Auditorium with 35mm and digital screening capability; three flexible production spaces; a recording studio and multimedia lab; Cohen Gallery; and a physical media lab supporting electronics prototyping, sensor interface development and physical computing.

Learn more about the BAI here.

Salomon Center

The Salomon Center for Teaching is loctaed on the main green immediately adjacent to Sayles Hall, and it most often hosts lectures other large meetings in the classrooms and halls within the building.The Department of Music presents the Brown Jazz Band concerts each year in March and April in the the Salomon's largest hall, the DiCiccio Auditorium.