The 25 million dollar Catlett Music Center is home to the University of Oklahoma's School of Music, Symphony Orchestra, the Pride of Oklahoma marching band and numerous faculty and student ensembles. World-class concerts and events are held regularly in Catlett Music Center which was completed in 1998.
Catlett contains the School of Music's administrative and faculty offices, along with studios, rehearsal suites, classrooms, MIDI labs, the Grant Fine Arts Library, a recording studio, and three performance halls. The performance halls are the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall, Morris R. Pitman Recital Hall, and Grayce B. Kerr Gothic Hall. The School of Music is a fully accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The requirements for admission and graduation are in accordance with the published regulations of the N.A.S.M.
Designed by Kaighn Associates Architects, the building's distinctive "Cherokee Gothic" style captures the angular parapet wall construction found in other early campus buildings. The unique projected window elements also capture the similar projected window style found in earlier buildings located on the University of Oklahoma campus. The use of copper roofing matches other copper roofs found on campus and play out their own sense of harmony. The copper roof lines visually change with time actually deepening in color with age.
The interesting shapes and articulation found throughout the building are intended to spark the creative imagination much as music does for the human spirit. The architectural rhythms and angular counterpoints likewise play through the mind intended to create visual interest and impact. The Catlett Music Building is memorable, functions well, and has grown to be loved by performers, faculty, students, and patrons.
The Catlett Music Center provides expansive rehearsal suites for large performing ensembles. Rehearsal suites for orchestra, band, and choral areas are acoustically designed for the enhancement of the teaching and learning processes. Each suite contains equipment for the recording and playback of rehearsals to aid in the learning process as well as large libraries of repertoire which are continuously updated. The percussion suite is an extensive complex of large rehearsal rooms, offices, and five practice rooms dedicated for percussion studies. The University of Oklahoma Percussion Press, which publishes literature for all levels of percussion study from solos to large percussion ensembles, is also located in the percussion suite.
Two electronic piano labs facilitate the teaching of piano skills to beginning pianists. In conjunction with these labs, the piano pedagogy program maintains the Ruby Grant Piano Pedagogy Resource Center, a repository for information and literature invaluable to students and educators alike. The choral rehearsal room in Catlett Music Center can be "tuned" by panels on the walls that open out or remain flush to absorb or reflect sound, depending on the size and type of ensemble performing. The University of Oklahoma Fine Arts branch library houses the collection of materials supportive to the disciplines of art, dance and music. Located in the Stanley B. Catlett Music Center, the Fine Arts Library holds 81,000 volumes of books, 2,087 reels of microfilm, and 8,440 sheets of microfiche.
The Grayce B. Kerr Gothic Hall houses the Mildred Andrews Boggess Memorial Organ, a $750,000 instrument designed specifically for the School of Music by the C. B. Fisk Company. Kerr Gothic Hall serves as a grand entrance to the School of Music and a lobby for the performance spaces in the Catlett Music Center. The large interior entry space identified as Gothic Hall is architecturally unique due to its high volume of space, play of light through the large east exterior windows, and use of structural elements to capture the essence of the "Old Gothic Hall Cathedrals." During the day, sunlight filters through the large stained glass windows into the hall and at night the interior lighting filters out through the windows dramatically lighting the east face like a jewel. The upper north end of the space houses a fully functional organ assembly so that vocal and music performance can be accomplished within the space.
The Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall provides seating for 1,018 patrons to enjoy the remarkable acoustics and architectural beauty of this Prairie Gothic style performance space. The smaller Morris R. Pitman Recital Hall reflects many of the same architectural details of the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall and creates an intimate environment for 125 patrons to enjoy faculty and student chamber music recitals and lectures.