School of Music Building

School of Music – Frieze Memorial Building - 325 Maynard Street


The “Ann Arbor School of Music” was opened in September, 1881, and classes were conducted in a building at the corner of State and Huron streets. Later in the same year it became a division of the incorporated “University” Musical Society. Because of insufficient resources, however, the School did not flourish, and in 1890 a special committee was appointed to discuss its reorganization.


In December, 1891, Professor William H. Pettee, who was active in the early program of the Musical Society, announced: “The University Musical Society has all the power it needs to proceed to the establishment of a School of Music,” and it was resolved that a school of music be established “as soon as the necessary financial support could be secured.”


In January, 1892, the committee reported that one hundred subscriptions of sixty-five dollars each had been obtained, whereupon the Board of Directors passed a resolution establishing the “University School of Music,” which opened for instruction in October, 1892, in rooms rented in Newberry Hall. The rented rooms were inadequate, however, and it was proposed that the School of Music be moved to Main Street. This proposal was not favorably received,

Newberry Hall


In 1893 a group of Ann Arbor business men and townspeople formed the School of Music Building Association. About two hundred individuals and firms subscribed for approximately six hundred shares of stock at $25.00 each, aggregating a total of $25,000. With this money the site at 325 Maynard Street was bought and the building was constructed. Wesley Howe was the architect and builder.

Music School – Frieze Memorial Building 325 Maynard Street

1913 and 1916

In the years 1913 and 1916 alterations were made to the building under the supervision of Lewis H. Boynton, architect.

Music School Alterations - Next to Nicholls Arcade Entrance 325 Maynard Street


In 1925 the Building Association gave the title to the University Musical Society, and the School of Music Building Association was dissolved. The Society transferred the title to the University in 1929 when the School of Music was made a definite unit of the University.

Ruth Gjelsness (The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, p. 1730)