The Penn State Glee Club performs regularly in four venues on the University Park Campus. Despite calling the beloved Schwab Auditorium its unofficial home, the Glee Club welcomes the opportunity to perform in any venue on campus, with each offering its own unique acoustic and feel. Specific information about these venues can be found below.
The first Penn State building financed by a private gift, Schwab Auditorium was completed in 1903 by means of a generous $150,000 gift from Bethlehem Steel Corporation founder Charles M. Schwab, a University trustee for thirty years. A classic revival auditorium, Schwab houses a proscenium stage and a 946-seat, Renaissance-style seating area. During renovations in the summer of 1999, new carpeting, drapery, and seats were installed and the interior walls were repainted.
Schwab Auditorium has always been the unofficial “home” of the Glee Club ever since its completion in 1903. Its intimate atmosphere and remarkable acoustic provide the perfect performance environment for the Glee Club’s annual Homecoming and Blue and White Concerts.
Conveniently located at the heart of the University Park Campus, Schwab Auditorium is used for the chamber music concerts presented by the Center for the Performing Arts and for other University events ranging from student performances to speeches by noteworthy visitors. The Thespians, the University’s oldest student organization, stages their musicals at Schwab. In all, the auditorium is used for about seventy-five events a year. Notable performers at Schwab in recent years include the Amernet String Quartet, Artis Quartet, Bartok Quartet, David Breitman, Emerson String Quartet, Spalding Gray, Hampton String Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Musicians from Marlboro, Sanford Sylvan, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Street Sounds, Turtle Island String Quartet, and Eugenia Zukerman.
Eisenhower Auditorium is Penn State’s major multi-purpose performing arts facility and home to the Center for the Performing Arts. The 2,455/2,551 seat (depending on orchestra requirements) proscenium stage theatre presents programs by nationally and internationally recognized performers in music, drama and dance, and is open all year to the Central Pennsylvania community. Opened in 1974 and later named for former University President Milton S. Eisenhower, the modern-style auditorium hosts almost 200 events each year. Most of the events presented by the Center for the Performing Arts occur on the Eisenhower stage.
The Glee Club sang for the first performance in the new auditorium in 1974. Eisenhower’s large stage and seating capacity make it ideal for joint choral concerts such as Winterfest, an annual celebration of holiday music from all of Penn State’s choral ensembles, including the Glee Club. The Glee Club’s centennial celebration and Homecoming Concert in 1988 brought back enough alumni to fill the entire stage.
Famed artists and ensembles including Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, Tori Amos, Kathleen Battle, Betty Carter, Tom Chapin, David Copperfield, John Davidson, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, Evelyn Glennie, Martha Graham Dance Company, Marilyn Horne, Billy Joel, Bill T. Jones, B.B. King, Kronos Quartet, Dave Matthews, Midori, Wynton Marsalis, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Andre Previn, Della Reese, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Andre Watts, Yo Yo Ma, and many others, have graced Eisenhower’s stage.
Esber Recital Hall
Located on the ground floor of the Music Building, this 400-seat auditorium is the primary performance space for the School’s solo and chamber music performances. The hall is home to Steinway and Bösendorfer concert grand pianos and a large Holtkamp organ. It is here that both faculty and students perform their solo recitals, give chamber music performances, and it is here also that the School’s smaller ensembles perform (percussion, flute, trombone, horn ensembles, the Chamber Orchestra, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble). Directly adjacent to the Glee Club’s rehearsal room, Esber is ideal for dress rehearsals and also provides an outstanding acoustic for recording.
Pasquerilla Spiritual Center
Opened in 2003, the Pasquerilla Center is Penn State’s religious hub. Featuring interfaith events and services, the Pasquerilla Center occupies the previously undeveloped area next to Eisenhower Chapel. Financed by a generous $5 million gift from Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla, the Center is used by more than thirty religious organizations and hosts 3,800 events annually.
The Glee Club helped commission the Pasquerilla Center in September 2003 and now uses the space for Bach’s Lunch performances, usually held once per semester. Its high ceilings and dramatic angular architecture make it an outstandingly reverberant space ideal for performing sacred works.