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Restoring the Music Shed

Please join us in preserving a national treasure
and home to Music Among Friends…

The Historic Music Shed…

Designed by E. K. Rossiter for Ellen and Carl Stoeckel, the Norfolk Music Shed opened its doors on June 6, 1906. The New York Times has described its beautiful redwood interior, modeled after New York’s original Steinway Hall, as an acoustic marvel. For more than 100 years the Music Shed has served as the principal venue for the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale Summer School of Music and the Litchfield County Choral Union. Many of the world’s greatest performers and composers including Fritz Kreisler, Jean Sibelius, Sergei Rachmaninov and, more recently, Pinchas Zukerman, Midori, Dave Brubeck, and the Tokyo String Quartet have appeared on its stage. With the exception of some minor adjustments over the years, the extraordinary Shed that Rossiter built in 1906 has survived intact to the present day.

… Desperately Needs Our Help

If it is going to continue to be home to great music for another hundred years, we must act now to save the Music Shed. A study completed by the engineering firm of Wiss, Janney, Eistner Associates in April, 2009, confirmed that the building will not survive beyond a decade without major repairs.

In 2012 we launched the most important fund-raising initiative in the history of the Norfolk Festival with the objective of restoring our historic Music Shed and replacing the defunct teaching annex at the back. In 2015, with your help, we were able to complete the first phase of this exciting project with the restoration of the Music Shed’s beautiful exterior: a new roof, siding and, most impressive, a beautifully reconstructed cupola. The cupola functions much as chimney, drawing a steady flow of air to make the building “naturally cooler” for our audience. In 2017 we completed the second phase including restoration of the original seats, new operable windows and doors, fans to assist the cupola and new cooler stage lighting.

But we still have a long way to go. The third and final phase of work will replace the defunct teaching Annex at the north end of the building and provide much-needed new bathrooms and patron amenities, a new green room to meet the artists, new dressing rooms, a new gazebo and a new recording studio to improve our streaming capabilities. 

Please help if you can.

We need to complete the work of preserving the Music Shed for the next generation of audiences, performers and students.

The estimated total cost of completing Phase 3 is $4,000,000. We know that raising the funds will be a challenge. This is an opportunity to help with a game-changing project that is essential to the future of the Norfolk Festival. Gifts of any size will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call Melvin Chen (203.432.7386), Jim Nelson (203.432.8779) or Paul Hawkshaw (203.645.3646), or say hello at a concert. Contributions can also be made online or by calling 860.542.3000.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the future of music at Norfolk.