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The original University of Hawaii Manoa Music Complex was built to provide the first permanent home for the Music Department, it consisted of four buildings. The original site includes two parking lots, a Music Building, Practice Room Building, Choral Rehearsal Hall, and the Orvis Auditorium. The first three buildings, the Music Building, Practice Room Building, and Choral Rehearsal Hall, are concrete and wood structures, with redwood T&G paneling on the exterior. The auditorium has three concrete faces, with only the fourth being covered in wood paneling. All four of these original buildings of the complex feature large concrete “bents”, or concrete frame structures, on the exterior of the building. The University of Hawaii Manoa Music Complex of music buildings is significant to the history of the University, development of music education practices, and to the traditions of the modern movement. Pioneering methods and subjects dealing with ethnographic music study were fine-tuned in the studios and classrooms of the Music Building. It was in the Choral Rehearsal Hall that the first Hawaiian Chorus was formed and practiced. The development of thriving music degree programs was largely due to the effective facilities found in the complex. In addition to the important events that took place at the music complex, the design and aesthetics contribute to its importance. The architect, Haydn Phillips, was able to employ the techniques and designs of acoustically optimal buildings to the International Style.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.