About this exhibit


The 2011-2012 school year is one of exciting milestones for the Aaron Copland School of Music. These include the twentieth anniversary of the Music Building, the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Aaron Copland School of Music, and Professor Emeritus Joel Mandelbaum’s fiftieth year on the faculty at Queens College.



In the early 1980s, it became apparent that the Aaron Copland School of Music needed a new home, as the school’s quarters in Rathaus Hall were increasingly inadequate. Dean Saul Novack championed the project and in March 1984 plans to construct a new building were announced. Construction began in September 1988 and the Aaron Copland School of Music moved in for the start of the fall 1991 semester. Over the last twenty years the building has provided a stable backdrop for the ever-evolving Aaron Copland School of Music.



Before becoming the Aaron Copland School of Music, we were simply known as the Queens College Department of Music. Work began in the late 1970s to change the department into a school of music. As part of the transformation, the decision was made to name the school after American music icon Aaron Copland. Dean Novack and Professor Hugo Weisgall approached Copland, obtaining his consent to name the school in his honor. In the fall of 1981 the department officially became the Aaron Copland School of Music.



Another milestone this year is the fiftieth anniversary of Joel Mandelbaum joining the Queens College faculty. Professor Mandelbaum joined the Queens College faculty in 1961, shortly after completing his PhD in music at Indiana University. He served as department chair from 1975-1978 and again from 1982-1984. Though he officially retired in 1999, he still remains active at Queens as a teacher and composer.