When it was dedicated in 2014, Ralph & Bettye Bailey Hall was a perfect fit for the students and staff of Purdue Musical Organizations.
Eight years later, the organization continues to expand exponentially. Consistent with the University’s increased enrollment records, the number of students interested in performing with a PMO ensemble is also rising. As more students audition, the PMO staff have to make the difficult decision of where to put these passionate performers.
“Every year, the talent of each class of students who audition for PMO keeps getting better and better,” said Bill Griffel, the Albert P. Stewart Director of Purdue Musical Organizations and Jack Calhoun Director of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. “It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new safety precautions, the PMO staff had to adjust the daily rehearsal schedule in order to fit each ensemble inside Bailey Hall.
“Since the Bells have outgrown the Luhman room, we had to move them into the Rohrman Room to accommodate for the larger number of ringers,” Griffel said. “As a result, the Glee Club now rehearses an hour earlier to allow for the Purduettes, Heart & Soul and University Choir to all use the Smith Room afterwards.”
Currently, the Smith Room is the only rehearsal room large enough to accommodate four of PMO’s six ensembles, including the All- Campus & Community Chorale, which rehearses on Tuesday evenings. During the day, the first floor of Bailey Hall bustles with students from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and students meet for sectionals and specialty rehearsals on most nights.
“We are so fortunate to have a beautiful building like Bailey Hall to call our own,” said Griffel. “Our home is increasingly becoming too small for our growing family, and we are looking forward to implementing some enhancements here soon! It’s exciting to dream about what that will look like in the near future.”