Jim Buckner and Wayne Crow, practicing in the Exhibit Hall bandroom
Carver Hall (just to the north of Music
Hall) was completed in 1969.
The large music appreciation classes (for non-majors) were held in the Carver auditorium.
Dr. Arthur Swift's office was moved to the
back of Exhibit Hall for the 1968-1969
school year when Acton Ostling replaced him as the new Director of Bands.
In 1969, Mr. Ostling directed the ISU Symphony
Band at the dedication ceremony for the new C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.
That concert was held in the auditorium lobby. When they were building
that Auditorium, the acoustics were horrible. The workmen couldn't
hear or understand each other even when they cupped their hands and shouted
to try and relay instructions to each other on different levels.
However, the design proved to be very sound, because to everyone's relief,
after the seats and aunusual ceiling were installed, it turned into a wonderful
C. Y. Stephens Auditorium serves as both theater and music hall on
the Iowa State campus. The undulating rhythm of exterior curves merely
reflects what is happening inside.
The magnificent seamless stage curtain is
a gift of J. W. Fisher of Marshalltown, Iowa. It was hand-woven on
a gigantic loom in Japan. The original design symbolizes the scientific
emphasis of Iowa State.
Seiji Ozawa, young Japanese conductor of the Philharmonic, led his orchestra through such delightful symphonies as Mendelssohn's No. 4, A major, "La Mer" by Debussy, Ginastera's dances from the ballet, "Estancia," and Tchaikovsky's symphony No. 4, F minor.
Several major changes came to the Music Department once C. Y. Shephens Auditorium was finally available. (The ISU Symphony Band had already performed for the famous dedication ceremony.) This new wonderful auditorium provided more than just a larger (seated 2,700 folks) and more dignified performance hall. The first major event was the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, so the huge audience came from miles around and came dressed in real style! They also came expecting a great coat-check service which they did not find. The Phi Mu guys, knowing the old bandroom coat rack would no longer be needed, showed up at C. Y. Stephens Auditorium to operate a huge coat check area in the South part of the basement (under the main floor lobby). They were shocked to find no hangers at all, but perhaps 40 eye-level coat hooks mounted all around the curved wall. Where were no coat-check tickets, or even pens and paper! But there were hundreds of "customers" from all across the Midwest!
The dignified audience members wishing to check their hats and coats plopped them on the counter just in front of the coat-hooks. They were offered no coat-check tickets to help them claim their wraps. The Phi Mu Guys began placing them by color. "Let's put all the black coats here. Brown over there! Green-tint coats way over there! Anybody have a pencil? Place blueish coats over there! If you can't tell what color it is, then put those on the hooks at the far end!" There were soon 40 eye-level coat-hooks filled, each holding at least three to four coats. And there were many piles of stacked top-hats filling the shelves above the coat-hooks. What a mess of fine garb!
The best news was that this awkward coat-check acivity ceased when the performance actually began. The Phi Mu Alpha guys retreated upstairs to attempt to watch this amazing philharmonic performance. All seats had been taken (purchased). The Music Department helpers just watched the performance by standing against the wall at the back of the auditorium or by standing on the stairs that led down to the lower seats.
The worst news came following the performance, because hundreds of folks who had "checked" their coats and hats showed up to retrieve their fine clothes. Since they had not been given a coat-check ticket to help identify their coats, it was fortunate that they were all in a good mood from attending this impressive performance that opened C.Y. Stephens Auditurium.
"What color is your coat? Black? So is it one of these three? No? How about one of those four? Maybe one of these over here? Is it this coat? How about that one? What color did you say your hat was? Black? Oh my! Can you point at which one of these six piles of black hats contains your top-hat? Is it one on this pile? Point at the pile where you see your hat!"
The returning "customers" had formed four long lines behind the few folks who were actually being served while standing at the counter. The Phi Mu guys were fortunate that all "customers" had enjoyed the orchestra performance and were very patient about the long coat-check process (now called "coat-claim" process). No "customers" complained about this new, long hassle of retrieving their clothes, and most actually left a very generous donation on the counter after their coats and hats were claimed. Wow, what a productive night!
This great and productive Phi Mu Alpha coat-check process was soon replaced by a new process manned by the professional and paid auditorium staff.
Richard Koupal is pictured with a class in
the choral rehearsal room (top floor of Morrill Hall).
The student in the center is Myrtle Wilson.
Director of Bands, Acton Ostling Jr.
His office was in the front (south end) of Exhibit Hall.
Organ recitals were sometimes held in the Congregational Church
in downtown Ames because of the new organ.
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