In November 2009, the UH Mānoa Department of Music unveiled its newly renovated buildings and auditorium, thanks to a $1.3 million repair and maintenance project. Improvements included a classroom equipped with up-to-date audiovisual equipment (thanks to an anonymous donor); new paint and lighting; critical energy-saving upgrades to the roof; conversion of a storage room into a conference room; and renovated practice rooms.
This was a group effort. Donors and the state helped fund the transformation. Private and state funds were matched by "sweat equity." Students, faculty and even College Music Educators National Conference attendees contributed their financial resources and labor to paint and renovate practice rooms and help make resources go further.
The Music Department has long demonstrated the high value of private philanthropy to a public institution. When Dr. Arthur and May Zenke Orvis moved to Hawaiʻi, they became involved in the community, with a special interest in art and music education.
Dr. Arthur Orvis donated $180,000 for the construction of a 400-seat music auditorium in honor of his wife, a former opera singer. Their gift funded the first campus facility built with private money. The groundbreaking ceremony for this historic facility took place January 21, 1960, and the Orvis Foundation has been a steady friend to the university ever since.
Today, the renovated music buildings and Orvis Auditorium are the ideal venue for the world class music education and Entertainment taking place within its walls. With these welcoming facilities, UH Mānoa looks forward to training the next generation of music teachers, performers, composers and ethnomusic scholars.