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Eastern Michigan University Preparing For Pease Auditorium Centennial Year

Apr 30, 2014

Eastern Michigan University will kick off a celebration of Pease Auditorium’s 100th anniversary tomorrow.  

Credit Bob Eccles / 89.1 WEMU

Eastern Michigan University’s Pease Auditorium is in for a year of attention.  The university will begin celebrations of the buildings centennial with banners going up on lightpoles showing a slice of its history. 

EMU’s Music and Dance Department chair Diane Winder says in its early days Pease was the centerpiece for cultural events in Ypsilanti.  That’s because before radio and television got big, traveling lecturers and other events would bring the community out to Pease Auditorium.  

To celebrate the building’s historical links to the community Winder says they will have a variety of campus and community events over the next year.  A centennial celebration is planned for June 27th which will include the Detroit Symphony Orchestra which was one of the first events when Pease opened.

Winder says EMU is also producing a book highlighting the history of Pease and the building’s pipe organ.  She says it’s always been known for its fine acoustics which are at least partly credited to the large panels of horse hair that line interior side walls.  Winder says unfortunately the house hair has been painted over, but remains in place.

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— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.