Sunday, March 04, 2018

Fantasy & Fugue at the new Voxman Music Building

We got to talking after services at St. Andrew's last Sunday about the new Voxman Music Building on the University of Iowa campus --- and the magnificent Klais organ housed in its 700-seat performance hall.

The building, designed by Seattle-based LNM Architects and opened in the fall of 2016, replaces the earlier Voxman --- home of the University's School of Music --- destroyed in the flood of 2008.

It is named after Centerville native Himie Voxman (1912-2011), whose leadership is largely responsible for building the foundation of the School of Music as it exists today. If you're interested in reading a little more about Voxman and his links to Centerville and its Congregation B'nai Israel, follow this link to a 2011 Lucas Countyan post.

It's interesting to note that Centerville produced two of Iowa's most widely respected musicians --- Voxman and operatic bass-baritone Simon Estes.

In any case, Daniel Scheetz, our church musician, had taken a group of Chariton High School musicians to an honors band event the previous weekend at the new Voxman and that got me to thinking about the building and its instruments. 

The building is located at the intersection of East Burlington and South Clinton streets. Both of my degrees are from the University of Iowa and I spent a good number of years there, but long ago and for the life of me I can't remember what was on this site back in the good old days when the U of I campus seemed like a small town.

The other piece of good news I picked up while poking around this morning is the fact that construction is scheduled to start this spring on the new University of Iowa Museum of Art --- replacement for another building extensively damaged in the flood. So within a couple of years, the Jackson Pollock mural and many other treasures can be gathered from their scattered temporary homes and brought permanently to Iowa City again.

The photos here are from LNM Architects and, since it's Sunday morning, here's a video of graduate student Josh Ring performing J.S. Bach's Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor (BWV 542) on the mighty Klais.

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