The Wednesday noon concerts have gone through many changes since they began in 1953. But one thing has remained the same„free access to great music.
In 1953, the concerts were performed on Thursday afternoons in 155 Dwinelle Hall. Lunches were permitted as long as they weren't accompanied by too much crunching (no celery!).
Because the concerts were so popular, overcrowding became a problem. An angry letter to the Daily Cal in 1954 complained that the concerts should be restricted to students only.
But organizers wanted to keep them open to everyone. As a result, overflow audience members were seated in 145 Dwinelle with music relayed via loudspeakers.
The space issue was finally resolved in 1959 when the series was moved to the recently built Hertz Hall. Although considered a temporary move at the time, the concerts have remained there ever since. No lunches allowed, though.
The fall semester series will kick off Sept. 4. Season highlights include the first annual commemorative concert Sept. 18 in honor of Elizabeth Elkus„a great supporter of the music department who helped make music more accessible to the campus and Bay Area communities.
The memorial concert will feature widely acclaimed pianist Barbara Shearer, a member of the music department faculty.
All noon concerts are performed Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. in Hertz Hall. Doors open at 11:55 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 642-2678.