For fifty years, the Department of Music at the University at Buffalo has maintained and nurtured a commitment to creative and performing artists at the forefront of contemporary music. The Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music, founded and directed by composer David Felder in 2006, is built on this legacy, featuring the internationally renowned “June in Buffalo” festival, the Slee Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra concert series, and the Guest Artist Series of performances, lecture presentations, and workshops. The Center is dedicated to the creation and production of new work upholding the highest artistic standards of excellence while simultaneously fostering a complementary atmosphere of creative investigation.
The Music Library's primary mission is to support the instructional and research needs of the UB Department of Music. It provides a large, broad based collection suitable to support the rigorous demands of music scholarship, from the medieval period to the 21st centruy, from chant to rap. The Music Library holds over 220,000 items including scores, sheet music, performance parts, periodicals, journals, books, sound recordings, videos and online databases and indexes.
Like the University itself, the Music Library's overarching mission is to remain on the cutting edge of research, to help push back the boundaries of knowledge by creatively serving those engaged in that enterprise. The Music Library is committed to providing expert reference service, detailed and relevant access to the library's resources, and a collection which anticipates users' needs. It also provides support to disciplines which intersect with music – dance, anthropology, American studies, theatre, and information and library studies– and serves the music information needs of Western New York's arts community.
The Computer Music Studios of the UB Department of Music strives to offer students knowledge and tools allowing them to work independently on research and compositional projects, including algorithmic instrumental compositions, electroacoustic/tape pieces, works involving real-time interaction, and multimedia works which make use of specialized controllers, video, dancers and more.
Slee Hall, connected to Baird Hall as part of the North Campus Academic Spine, plays a crucial role in the creation and presentation of music at the University at Buffalo. In addition to being the home of the Computer Music Studios, Slee Hall contains the 670-seat Lippes Concert Hall, a beautiful venue with a variable acoustical structure, which serves as the home to a number of notable concert series:
C.B. Fisk Organ
The centerpiece of Lippes Concert Hall is the C.B. Fisk organ, one of the premiere teaching organs on the East Coast. It is one of the largest mechanical-action organs in Western New York and is one of a very few organs to combine a fully mechanical stop action with a state-of-the-art computerized electronic combination action. Unique in its design at the time, the organ has become very influential, with numerous subsequent organs being based on its design. It is, however, most remarkable for its timbral and registral diversity, equally at home in the repertories of the North-German Baroque, 19th Century France, or the early 20th Century.
The primary home of the Department of Music, Baird Hall is located in the Arts & Athletics Complex on the UB North Campus. It houses the following:
Classrooms are well-equipped with recently-updated audio and visual technology, including several large-screen LCD screens often used in courses on film music and multimedia study. Shared practice rooms containing pianos are assigned to all Undergraduates majoring in Music. Additionally, Baird Hall houses the Percussion Studio, two organ practice rooms, and instrument storage facilities. As a part of the "Academic Spine," Baird Hall is connected to the remainder of the UB North Campus through a series of elevated walkways and tunnels, and is directly connected to Slee Hall (containing the Computer Music Studios, Lippes Concert Hall and additional rehearsal facilities and faculty offices).
Centered in the building is Baird Recital Hall, one of two primary venues for Department of Music sponsored events. The hall is capable of seating 150, and is equipped with a stage, footlights, klieg lights, 5.1 surround loudspeaker setup, a large projection screen and control room. A more intimate setting than Lippes Concert Hall, Baird Recital Hall typically serves as the venue for chamber music performances, guest lectures and multi/intermedia presentations.