Music and Dance in a Library? Yes, Please!

Did you know that Powell Library is home to a robust concert and dance program? “The Powell Music in the Rotunda” program was founded in 1966 and ran for about twenty-four years, until the library needed to be renovated after an earthquake. The program was then on hiatus until it was reinstated in 2000 and has been running ever since. Catherine Brown, a UCLA Librarian, currently runs the program. (Stay tuned for a special interview with Cathy coming soon!)

The concerts are generally on Friday and Saturday evenings and are held in the second floor rotunda. Many students, faculty and staff of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music have performed in the Powell rotunda in addition to groups including the Early Music Ensemble and the innovative Video Game Music Ensemble.

The Powell rotunda doesn’t simply feature concerts. There’s a long history of the “Historical Dances in the Rotunda” program, which features three dances each year. Each dance has a theme, which have included “Waltz Night,” the “Jane Austen Ball” and the “Italian Renaissance Ball.”

Want an insider’s view of what it’s like to perform in Powell? Then check out this interview with Luke Santonastaso, a graduate of both the UCLA undergrad and graduate music program at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Luke talks about his experiences performing in Powell and what makes the rotunda such a one-of-a-kind venue.