Most of the Yale Music campus is located in the block bounded by College, Wall, Temple, and Elm streets. Abby and Mitch Leigh Hall, at 435 College St., reopened in 2005 after a year of renovations. This beautiful building was built in 1930 in the Gothic style as the University’s health center and has been thoroughly updated and modernized. It houses numerous faculty studios, the dean’s office, and three classrooms.
Albert Arnold Sprague Memorial Hall, at the corner of College and Wall streets, reopened in the fall of 2003 after two years of extensive renovations. The first floor houses the admissions, business, concert, and registrar’s offices and the Plaut-Kimball Recording Studio, a fully equipped professional digital recording facility. Morse Recital Hall, located on the second and third floors, has a seating capacity of 680, and its stage accommodates eighty musicians. It is the School of Music’s primary performance venue.
The Adams Center for Musical Arts, which opened in January 2017, connects Leigh Hall and the newly renovated Hendrie Hall by way of a new structure that includes a student commons with a four-story atrium. For the first time, musicians from the School of Music and Yale College were able to come together and interact as one community. The complex is a state-of-the-art facility with enhanced acoustics and the latest instructional technology in all spaces. The Adams Center’s three-story soundstage-like orchestra rehearsal hall is the first home that the Yale Philharmonia and Yale Symphony Orchestra have had at Yale. In addition to entirely new facilities, the Adams Center boasts magnificently reimagined spaces in Hendrie Hall, including those that are home to Yale’s undergraduate ensembles—the Yale Glee Club and Yale Bands—and, from YSM, the Yale Opera and Yale Percussion Group. The large ensemble rooms are utilized for classes and various rehearsals. The Adams Center also houses an ensemble library for all resident ensembles and the deputy dean’s office. Twenty-six new practice studios and six classrooms provide space in which YSM and Yale College students can meet, study, practice, and rehearse chamber music. Combining the space in Leigh Hall, the preexisting space in Hendrie Hall, and the space in the new structure, the Adams Center totals 88,604 gross square feet.
Gustave Stoeckel Hall, directly across College Street from Sprague Hall, was named after Yale’s first professor of music in 1954 and is home to the Yale Department of Music. The only Venetian Gothic structure on campus, Stoeckel Hall was completely renovated and expanded in 2008 and reopened in January of 2009.
The Louis Sudler Recital Hall in William L. Harkness Hall, adjacent to Sprague Hall, seating audiences of two hundred, is available for recitals, chamber music concerts, and lectures.
The building at 143 Elm St. houses academic faculty offices and the offices of Development and Alumni Affairs and the Music in Schools Initiative.
The Morris Steinert Collection of Musical Instruments, located in its own building at 15 Hillhouse Ave., was constructed in 1894 in the Romanesque revival style out of reddish-brown Connecticut sandstone. The collection contains more than one thousand instruments, of which the majority document the Western European art music tradition, especially the period from 1550 to 1950. The instruments are on display in three galleries and in additional exhibit space in the foyer and hall areas. Permanent exhibits are maintained in the first-floor-east gallery and in the second-floor gallery, which is also used as a concert room noted for its fine acoustics. An exterior renovation project was completed in 2020. A renovation project begun in 2023 and slated for completion in fall 2024 will reimagine the collection as a teaching museum. Preparations for the project, which will include the installation of a new climate-control system, necessitated the relocation of objects from the collection to the University’s West Campus.
Woolsey Hall is used by the School of Music and other musical organizations for concerts by large instrumental ensembles and choruses. This impressive Beaux Arts structure, built in 1901 to celebrate the University’s bicentennial, is home to the Yale Philharmonia, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Concert Band, and the Yale Glee Club. The hall has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 2,667 and houses the Newberry Memorial Organ. The building provides additional organ practice rooms in the basement.
The Institute of Sacred Music has offices, classrooms, and practice rooms in Miller Hall at 406 Prospect Street and in Sterling Divinity Quadrangle at 409 Prospect Street. At the heart of the SDQ complex is Marquand Chapel, the center of daily worship for the community. It is home to an E.M. Skinner organ as well as a Baroque-style meantone Krigbaum Organ by Taylor & Boody. These instruments, the acoustics, and the flexible seating arrangements make Marquand Chapel a unique performance space at Yale.
Since 1941, the grounds of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate in Norfolk, Connecticut, have hosted the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale Summer School of Music. The Music Shed, an acoustical marvel constructed in 1906 of cedar and redwood that seats seven hundred, is the site of the festival’s concerts. Behind the stage is a choir loft that can accommodate a two-hundred-voice chorus. The Music Shed underwent a three-year renovation ending in 2018. Renovations to the Music Shed in 2023 included the addition of an air-conditioning system, a new green room, upgraded recording capabilities, and the relocation of restrooms. Throughout each improvement project, the Music Shed has retained the critical elements that make it a beloved performance space. Whitehouse, originally the home of the Battell family, began as an eight-room house in 1800 and was enlarged periodically over the next hundred years, eventually becoming a thirty-five-room mansion. It was completely redone in the Victorian style during the early years of the twentieth century and underwent structural renovations in 2012. Battell House, at the entrance to the estate, contains a recital hall, administrative offices, box office, and dining hall. Other buildings on the estate provide housing and practice and rehearsal rooms for students and faculty. Transformative improvements to these housing and rehearsal facilities were completed in summer 2023, including the creation of an eleven-room dormitory building for students and the addition of a fifteen-room annex to the Music Shed, which houses state-of-the-art rehearsal studios.
The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library’s general collection contains approximately 330,000 items, including scores and parts for musical performance and study; books about music; compact discs and LP recordings; DVDs and videotapes; sheet music; photographs; music periodicals; and numerous online databases of books, scores, audio, and video. The Music Library’s collection is designed for scholarly study and reference, and to serve the needs of performing musicians. Fundamental to both purposes are the great historical sets and collected editions of composers’ works, of which the library possesses all significant publications.
The library also holds more than 4,000 linear feet of archival material, including original music manuscripts, photographs, sound and video recordings, correspondence, and more. Notable collections include:
- Works of noted composers formerly associated with Yale University as teachers or students, including the complete manuscript collection of Charles Ives and a collection of documents concerning Paul Hindemith’s career in the United States;
- The Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings—comprising approximately 280,000 recordings from the birth of recorded sound to the present, including unique private recordings and test pressings;
- The Oral History of American Music, which includes a collection of more than 2,600 in-depth interviews with major musical figures of our time;
- Manuscripts and/or papers of Leroy Anderson, Daniel Asia, Paul Bekker, Howard Boatwright, Richard Donovan, Lehman Engel, Henry Gilbert, Benny Goodman, John Hammond, Thomas de Hartmann, Vladimir Horowitz, J. Rosamond Johnson, Hershy Kay, John Kirkpatrick, Ralph Kirkpatrick, David Kraehenbuehl, Benjamin Lees, Goddard Lieberson, Ted Lewis, Leo Ornstein, Red Norvo, Horatio Parker, Quincy Porter, Mel Powell, Harold Rome, Carl Ruggles, E. Robert Schmitz, Franz Schreker, Robert Shaw, David Stanley Smith, Kay Swift, Deems Taylor, Alec Templeton, Virgil Thomson, and Kurt Weill.
The library also houses the extensive Lowell Mason Library of Church Music, noted for its collection of early American hymn and tune books. Individual manuscript holdings include autograph manuscripts of J.S. Bach, Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt.
Access to the Music Library’s holdings is available through Quicksearch, a single search interface that returns results from multiple library data sources, including Yale Library’s online catalog, Orbis. Quicksearch also pulls in results from the various online databases the Music Library subscribes to as well as its digital collections.
Collections in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, particularly the Frederick R. Koch Collection, the Speck Collection of Goethiana, the Yale Collection of American Literature, and the Osborn Collection, also hold valuable music materials. Students in the School of Music may also use the facilities of any of the other University libraries, which have a total collection of more than fifteen million print and electronic volumes in diverse media ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books and a growing body of born-digital materials.