Jenson Noble Hall of Music

Construction

The Jenson Hall of Music was opened after a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 18, 1982 and formally dedicated during Homecoming of that same year. Koren Hall, Norby House, and the Korsrud Heating Plant had all functioned as the Luther College music facilities prior to the construction of Jenson. The idea of a new music building was unanimously decided upon by all contributing faculty, students, and administrators. Situated just south of Preus Library and west of Brandt Hall, the Jenson Noble Hall of Music faces, on one side, the Center for the Arts.

Proposal

Various proposals were submitted to solve the problem of the music facilities at Luther College but it became obvious, due to the increasing enrollment and prestige of the program, that a major building project would be the only solution. Hammel Green and Abrahamson, Inc., an architectural firm from Minneapolis, was engaged to plan the building. Nelson Company of Caledonia, Minnesota was awarded the general contract.

Funding

The total cost of the Jenson Hall of Music was $2.7 million, financed through funds raised by the Luther Advancement Fund. Gifts were also given from The Bush Foundation of Saint Paul ($100,000), the Kresge Foundation of Troy, Michigan ($200,000), and the Gardner and Florence Call Cowles Foundation of Des Moines, Iowa ($50,000). A major gift of stock in the Sun Oil Company was given by Martin and Avis Jenson of Mankato, Minnesota. Martin Jenson also gave a second donation at the time of his death.

Planning

In planning the Jenson Hall of Music, the architects decided to strive architectural integrity using the same red brick facade of the neighboring buildings. The interior was designed in a Norwegian motif with an expansive corridor running the entire length of the main floor which was to recall the old wharves of Bergen, Norway, the home of composer Edvard Grieg and Norway's "city of music." The building was also built to house the various rehearsal and recital halls, studios, practice rooms, faculty offices, and classrooms needed for the expanding music program.

Dedication

The Jenson Hall of Music was originally named after the Jenson family whose contributions helped to make the construction possible. The ground was broken on Oct. 9, 1981 and, although the building was not ready for use by the beginning of fall term in 1982, it was completed by mid-September of that year.

Developments

In 2002 the Jenson Hall of Music underwent a renovation to improve faculty offices and to add a 235 seat recital hall named after Weston Noble who had served on the Luther College Music Faculty from 1948 to his retirement in 2005 after 57 years of dedication to the college. In honor of this new hall the building was renamed the Jenson Noble Hall of Music.

Notable Rooms

The Sundt Organ Room financed by Ruth Sundt in memory of her parents, Frank and Gertrude Penning; the Weston H. Noble Choir Rehearsal Room; the Weston H. Noble Recital Hall; the Preus Reception area in honor of Dr. and Mrs. J.C.K. Preus; the Carlo A. Sperati Rehearsal Room honoring Luther's Concert Band director from 1905 to 1943; the Clara M. Hoyt Room, honoring the women's choir director of 1936-1958.