The Peabody Institute adds a new performance space this fall when the Centre Street Performance Studio opens Sept. 4. Located in the former bookstore space downstairs from Maestro's Café at 10 E. Centre St. in Mount Vernon, the venue features state-of-the art audio and visual performance and recording capabilities and will be used as a classroom, for recitals, and for student-programmed events.
Andrea Trisciuzzi, associate dean for external relations at Peabody, says that faculty have wanted an additional space for classes and recitals, and Centre Street adds a 49-seat venue to the institute's five other halls: Friedberg, Goodwin, Griswold, Byrd, and Cohen-Davison.
Additionally, Centre Street becomes the first Peabody venue to allow students the opportunity to plan, promote, and perform their own concert repertoire, a crucial part of contemporary music education.
"We realized that there were no spaces here that gave students an opportunity to try their hand at programming, and given the way the field works today, that was something missing," Trisciuzzi says. "Dean [Fred] Bronstein comes out of the orchestra world, where you can't just be proficient or even brilliant at your instrument. It's not enough. You need to know how to present yourself. You need to know how to make opportunities for yourself."
The Student Affairs and Concert offices are working out the process for students to program the venue, which will be available most weekends. A ribbon cutting takes place Sept. 4, and a jazz combo night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 15.
The space's renovation was funded by an anonymous donor and gifts from the Presser and Middendorf foundations, and from Frank Mondimore and Jay Rubin. They were all very interested in how the space enriches the student experience, Trisciuzzi says.
"It gives students a chance to try a few things while they're still in school," she says. "We didn't have anything like that before."