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Skidmore College
Arthur Zankel Music Center

Why—About Arthur Zankel Music Center

Music Program Outgrows Its Space

Skidmore College’s Music Department has grown dramatically since 1967, when the Therese W. Filene Music Building opened its doors on what was then Skidmore’s “new” campus. The College was in the midst of relocating from its charming but antiquated downtown campus to a 650-acre wooded area on North Broadway, about one mile from downtown Saratoga Springs, a move that would be substantially completed in the mid-1970s.

The Filene Music Building was built to support a faculty of five and a student body of some 1,000. As enrollment grew, so did the music offerings, broadening and deepening to meet the needs of a student body that now stands at 2,400. With nearly 40 full- and part-time faculty, the Music Department now offers more than 50 courses in such diverse areas as the Western classical tradition; electronic- and computer-based musical composition; non-Western musical forms and traditions; jazz, pop and rock; and West African drumming, as well as individual instruction in a wide variety of instruments and vocal genres. Students may pursue their musical passions at a level typically seen at a music conservatory, engaging in close interaction with faculty who are accomplished performers, scholars, and composers.

This steady growth strained the capacity of the Filene Music Building on all fronts, from practice rooms, to office space, to storage space. The capacity of the Filene Recital Hall was a particular challenge: With seating for only 235, it often overfilled, forcing the College to turn away potential audience members.

Zankel in the News, Selected Stories

Review and News Archive, Opening to Present

Building Opening News, February 2010

  • New Skidmore venue pleasing to the ear, Times Union, February 7, 2010
  • Preparing for the dance, Sound Insight blog, February 6, 2010
  • New sounds of music at Skidmore, Times Union, February 6, 2010
  • Ensemble ACJW @ Skidmore's new Zankel Music Center, You Review blog of the Times Union, February 6, 2010
  • Curtain rising on Zankel Music Center, the Saratogian, February 4, 2010

Planning and Construction News

  • Skidmore music department moves into new center, the Saratogian, January 5, 2010
  • Music moves to new center at Skidmore, the Post Star, January 4, 2010
  • Skidmore appoints director of arts administration, Scope Online, October 9, 2009
  • Campaign gifts get right to work, Scope Quarterly, Summer 2008
  • Zankel Center hard-hat tour a hit, Scope Online, June 11, 2008
  • Zankel Music Center moves toward completion, Scope Online, May 16, 2008
  • Skidmore to host steel-raising for Zankel Music Center, Scope Online, May 15, 2008
  • Skidmore clearing music center site, reprinted with permission from the Daily Gazette, August 14, 2007
  • Challenge grant from Emerson Foundation will support music center, Scope Online, December 8, 2006
  • Skidmore College receives $42 million from Zankel estate, Scope Online, June 2, 2006