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Music

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Music

Facilities

The Conservatory of Music

The Conservatory of Music building is the nerve center of daily musical life at Winthrop University. It houses offices for faculty, staff, graduate assistants, student practice rooms, classrooms, a Flemish single-manual harpsichord by Kingston, a 5-stop tracker pipe organ by Angerstein, vocal and instrumental rehearsal spaces, the music department office, the Winthrop Computer Music Studio, and the Frances May Barnes Recital Hall.

Barnes Recital Hall

The Frances May Barnes Recital Hall, named for a 1915 alumna, is a 200-seat venue that is ideal for vocal and instrumental chamber music. It includes a 10-stop two-manual tracker pipe organ by Kney, a state-of-the-art sound system and smart classroom equipment that supports presentations and lectures utilizing all audio/video formats and internet-based presentation.

Byrnes Auditorium

Byrnes Auditorium was named for James F. Byrnes, former governor of South Carolina and U.S. Secretary of State. While a U.S. senator, Byrnes arranged for Works Project Administration funds to be used with matching state funds to construct three buildings: the auditorium, Thurmond Building, and Macfeat Nursery School.

Byrnes exemplifies the monumental architectural style prevalent in Depression-era public buildings. Byrnes has a seating capacity of 3,500 making it well suited for concerts or special events. Within the auditorium is the four-manual David Bancroft Johnson Memorial Organ, an Aeolian-Skinner, finished and signed by G. Donald Harrison in 1955. Appraised today at $1.5 million, it has served as a model instrument for many church and civic spaces throughout the South.

Byrnes has hosted several of the worlds finest musicians and performing organizations, including the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Boy Choir, the Harlem Boy Choir, Artur Rubenstein, Joan Sutherland, Count Basie, Woody Herman, and Dave Brubeck. In addition, each year Byrnes hosts the South Carolina All-State Chorus concert, which features performances by two all-state choruses and clinics by nationally recognized artists. 

The Winthrop University Computer Music Lab and the music department keyboard lab are located in the upstairs lobby of Byrnes.