Marlboro College


New Serkin Performing Arts Center
Opens at Marlboro

View construction photos

Marlboro College’s new Serkin Arts Center will open its doors on October 6, 2005. The Rudolf and Irene Serkin Center for the Performing Arts honors the legendary pianist and director of the Marlboro Music Festival, Rudolf Serkin, and his wife Irene. The 2.6 million dollar project, begun in May 2004, was built through the generosity of alumni parents Charlie and Sue Snyder. The Thomas B. and Nancy K. Ragle Hall was funded by friend of the college Daan Zwick, who is also the brother of long-time faculty member Huddee Herrick, and Daan's wife, Janis Dowd. Their gift was matched by the Thomas Thompson Trust, in keeping with their generous practice of supporting construction of public art and education spaces.

The 10,700 square foot Serkin building provides generous spaces for music and dance instruction and performance. The 125-seat Ragle Hall provides an showcase for lectures and small ensemble performances. “The building will help define an area of the campus devoted to arts and performance,” said architect Deborah Berke of Deborah Berke & Partners.

Berke’s design underscores the affinity of dance and music while celebrating their distinctiveness. Each discipline is housed in a similarly-sized space that is joined by a shared lobby, which simply but effectively insulates the programs from each other acoustically and expresses their differences.

The large dance studio features a sprung floor and expansive windows that permit natural light for classes and rehearsals. The music hall, on the other hand, provides the more controlled environment that music recitals require, built to acoustically-determined construction standards. In addition to the new performance space, the building will include classroom, gallery and office spaces, rehearsal rooms, a digital recording studio and listening library.

In tribute to the new Serkin Center and the man who inspired it, Marlboro College Professor of Music Luis Batlle has dedicated a concert series of internationally acclaimed pianists who have a special connection to the late Mr. Serkin. The concert series debuts with Mitsuko Uchida, who will play an all-Mozart program on Sunday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m. In the spring, Claude Frank offers an all-Schubert program on Sunday, February 26 at 3:00 p.m. Richard Goode follows with an all-Bach performance on Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. The final performance will be Cecile Licad, who will features the Romantics in a program of Chopin, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff on Sunday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m.

All concerts are free and open to the public. The concerts will be held in the 125-seat Ragle Hall, which is completely accessible. Because seating is very limited, free tickets must be obtained in advance. In a few weeks, tickets will be available at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro and at the Marlboro College Bookstore in Marlboro from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Elena Sharnoff, Marlboro College Public Affairs Officer, at (802) 251-7644 Monday through Friday, or visit For cancellation information, please call the Events Hotline: (802) 451-7151.

Some of the details of the Serkin Center's space include:

Music spaces:

   Three practice rooms
   Three office/classrooms
   Listening library
   1,976 square foot performance hall with 121 fixed seats, 4 wheel chair seats
   Multi-media presentation capability
   Recording studio
   Digital music classroom

Dance spaces:

   2,515 square foot studio
   Harlequin Cascade sprung floor
   Locker rooms and showers


   Square feet 925
   Designed as gallery to showcase art and photography
   Accommodating for receptions

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