The Aaron Copland School of Music is housed in the music building on the Queens College campus, a facility completed in 1991. Designed by architect Robert Marquis, the music building fuses an aesthetically beautiful environment with a structure that meets the specialized needs of the School of Music.
At the heart of the music building is the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Concert Hall, a 487-seat recital hall that may be the finest in the metropolitan area. The acoustics of the hall were designed by Peter George Associates, designer of Merkin Hall in Manhattan. The LeFrak Concert Hall features a superb tracker- action organ, designed by Bedient Associates of Lincoln, Nebraska, expressly for this facility; 24 banner boxes, which can be lowered to accommodate variable acoustics; computer-controlled theatrical lighting; and professional-quality audio and video equipment, used not only for recording ACSM programs, but for Decca, DGG and other professional label recording sessions as well.
The Elmer and Ethel Thiele Atrium is the two-story, skylight- covered center of the building, opening onto the Music Library, classrooms and the LeFrak Concert Hall. The Music Library contains 50,000 books and scores, over 12,000 recordings, extensive microfilm and periodical holdings, and a 65,000-item collection of performance music. It also houses a Media Center, which contains ten PC workstations and five MIDI keyboards which are designed to permit students to pursue self-paced instruction in ear training and music theory.
Among other specialized facilities are a 169-seat choral room, which also functions as a small recital hall; the orchestral rehearsal room, equipped with theatrical lighting to create a multi-purpose space; designated rehearsal spaces for percussion, harpsichord, and small ensembles, respectively; 40 practice rooms; and a recording studio whose control room overlooks not only the LeFrak Concert Hall, but also the orchestral and choral rehearsal rooms as well as the recording studio itself. Finally, three electronic music studios provide a unique contribution to the ACSM and its programs. The computer music studio is equipped with a NeXT computer network as well as stand- alone IBM and Macintosh workstations. This room is used primarily for courses in computer music synthesis, composition and analysis, and for digital sound editing. The synthesizer room contains three individual workstations for digital FM, analog and hybrid methods of synthesis, as well as sampling. In addition, they include an effects device, mixer and MIDI switcher. This room is designed to teach principal methods of electronic music synthesis, MIDI computer applications, recording techniques, and the use of reverberation and effects devices. The third room, the editing studio, contains additional workstations for mixing and editing works produced in the other facilities. It also contains video editing and copying facilities.
The ACSM also has access to the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, whose 2,200-seat auditorium is home to the Queens College Choral Society, and whose Irving and Susan Wallack Goldstein Theatre features operatic as well as theatrical productions.