St. Cecilia Music Center, one of Grand Rapids’ architectural treasures, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971, and has also received historic designation from the state of Michigan and the City of Grand Rapids. As the culmination of the vision of the founding nine women in 1883, construction of the original building began in 1893 and took about seven months to complete. It opened to the public on June 19, 1894.
MMA is proud to have partnered with SCMC to produce the most recent renovations through the building, including new flooring, seating, and stage upgrades in Royce Auditorium; all new business offices and rehearsal spaces; refreshed lobby, parlor and President’s Room on the main floor; upgrades and new finishes for the upper level ballroom; as well as improvements to entrances and public toilet rooms. MMA focused on a high level of collaboration and communication with SCMC staff, consultants, and construction manager to organize and prioritize the many details for the renovation to occur without disruption to the performance seasons, ongoing regular events, and normal business operations. The renovated SCMC celebrated its grand re-opening on November 3, 2016.
St. Cecilia Music Center is the only surviving building in the United States that was built and maintained by women for the sole purpose of music, remaining true to its original mission “to promote the appreciation, study and performance of music, and to enrich the lives of the residents of West Michigan.” Originally known by the group’s original name, St. Cecilia Society, the name was changed in 1970 to St. Cecilia Music Society, and then in 2007 to the current St. Cecilia Music Center.
Today, St. Cecilia Music Center produces the Presenting Series, in partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, which showcases the world’s finest chamber musicians and music. SCMC also produces the Spectacular Jazz Series and the Acoustic Café Series to provide a broad range of musical genres’. The St. Cecilia Music Center School of Music provides training and experience for youth and adult students, including formal lesson and performance opportunities, music clubs, and scholarships.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Architect of record:
Mathison | Mathison Architects