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Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center Recognized for Beauty

Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center Recognized for Beauty

The University of Oklahoma's Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center made the list of 50 most beautiful conservatories and schools of music in the nation.

The Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center at the University of Oklahoma is one of the top 15 among the 50 most beautiful conservatories and Schools of Music in the nation, according to College Degree Search.

Both private and public colleges and universities as well as conservatories are included in the list. In addition to OU, this year’s honorees include Boston Conservatory’s The Fenway, Oberlin College’s Bibbins Hall and Carnegie Mellon University’s Carnegie Music Hall Oakland.

OU is the only school in Oklahoma and one of only two schools in the Big 12 to be selected.

“The university community is very pleased by this recognition and continually grateful to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for making it all possible,” said OU President David L. Boren.

In releasing the list, College Degree Search wrote, “While most schools around the U.S. offer music degrees, these 50 were selected after careful examination of hundreds of programs. These 50 schools provide superior facilities, amazing degree programs and countless opportunities for their music students.”

In explaining the merits of the Reynolds Center – the premier performance center of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts School of Music – College Degree wrote:

“Imagine going to work in a castle or heading to class in a building that makes you feel like royalty. For music students and faculty at the University of Oklahoma, it’s not whimsy; it’s reality.

From its turreted towers to the medieval wooden doorways, the University of Oklahoma’s Donald W. Reynold’s Center immediately calls to mind a palace. With around 300 musicals, operas, concerts, recitals and dramas performed each year; the building is a special place to many accomplished musicians.”

The Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center was established in 2005 through a generous gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas, which provided for the restoration of a historic performing auditorium and music practice facility as well as the addition of a new home for the fine arts college’s nationally School of Dance.

At the heart of Reynolds Center is Holmberg Hall, which was completed in 1918. Named in 1938 after Swedish-born Fredrik Holmberg (1872-1936), a longtime professor of music who became the first dean of OU’s College of Fine Arts, the 677-seat theater is Oklahoma’s only European-style performance hall.

Holmberg Hall, sometimes called “Oklahoma’s meeting house,” was the venue for generations of OU student and faculty performances; high school music, speech and other competitions; and a range of other community activities – as well as appearances by famous visitors, among them President William Howard Taft, statesman William Jennings Bryan, poet William Butler Yeats, composer Aaron Coplan, and dancer Martha Graham.

In addition, many of OU’s landmark events, from OU President James Buchanan’s funeral to football Coach Bud Wilkinson’s national trophy presentation, were held in the facility. OU President David L. Boren chose this stage as the place to announce his acceptance of the OU presidency and resignation from the U.S. Senate.

The complete list of the nation’s top 50 most beautiful conservatories and schools of music can be found at