If you love music, St. Louis is the place for you. From the LouFest music festival that attracts a number of artists to Forest Park, to the St. Louis Symphony to concerts at the Pageant and the Fabulous Fox Theater, a music junkie might get overwhelmed with all the options. (Check out Caroline’s post on concerts in St. Louis!) Besides all of these wonderful big name venues, there’s one right under our nose that many overlook: WashU’s very own 560 Music Center. Located off campus at Trinity and Delmar near the west entrance of the Loop, the 560 Music Center offers students and faculty rehearsal and performance space. Furthermore, it hosts a variety of music events open to the public throughout the year.
The 560 is a pretty recent addition to WashU’s music facilities, opening for student use in 2007. At the 560, applied music teaching, rehearsals, and many performances take place. Students may practice here if they are a part of any of the music department ensembles including concert and chamber choir, flute choir, jazz band, symphony orchestra, or wind ensemble. Even students not officially in the music department will practice here if they’re in an a cappella group or Washington University Pops Orchestra (WUPops), our student-run orchestra that provides musical opportunities to all students. The music community as WashU is something to marvel at: our diverse programs offer students the opportunity to get involved in pretty much anything they want!
However, the 560 isn’t just full of practice rooms, it also houses the beautiful E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall that has a capacity of 1,115, the gorgeous Ballroom/Theater for up to 300, and a Recital Hall for 75. My favorite event that is held in the Concert Hall is the a cappella concert during Parent and Family Weekend. All twelve groups are slated to perform, and it’s the first time that the whole a cappella community has come together that year. The auditorium buzzes with the excitement of parents, siblings, and fellow students, eager to hear the entertainment for the evening. As a new member of the Aristocats, WashU’s premier all Disney a cappella group, I performed here with my group at that concert!
The 560 hosts a variety of cool events throughout the year. The annual Fashion Design Show presented by the Sam Fox School brings lights, music, glamour, and stunning clothes to the 560. Students get discounts to performances like Liz Callaway and Jason Graae and local performances like the King’s Singers and even the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) which was sold out last year! Go support fellow students perform in their semester showcases or watch faculty stun the stage with breathtaking performances!
Next time you’re around, be sure to check out the music department’s website and stop by the 560 to see what cool events may be happening; there will always be something to quench your thirst for good music!