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Kutztown University, KU Foundation Dedicate Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion Research

by Kutztown University

Kutztown University, KU Foundation Dedicate Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion Research

Kutztown University and the Kutztown University Foundation hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion Research Saturday, Sept. 9. This project was part of Together, We’re Golden, Kutztown University’s first 100% student-focused, comprehensive campaign.

The Center is named for Dr. Richard G. Wells, professor emeritus, and Dr. Willis M. Rapp, member of KU Foundation Board and professor emeritus.

The facility opened during the 2023 spring semester and is home to KU’s growing collection of music, photos, and artifacts, along with the rare and valuable vintage collection of mallet percussion instruments that have been acquired over three decades. It is a working facility, open to students as well as researchers, and will allow access to play the instruments as well as view the one-of-a-kind materials unique to the center.

“This facility will be a performance and practice space for our entire music program; most notably, students in our percussion programs, chamber groups, piano lessons and performances, and other small assembles,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president. “It will be a place for research in music history, music appreciation, and small museum administration. In this space, we will celebrate the contributions that women and underrepresented groups have made to mallet percussion and other forms of music. This will be place that will be open to all students, faculty, and the community-at-large, so that all can come together and celebrate history, culture, and community. This center will be unique in the entire world and will bring great prestige to Kutztown University as a destination for faculty and student research and performance.”

The Wells-Rapp Center is a 13,250 square-foot facility that is located adjacent to Schaeffer Auditorium. It features eight separate rooms that house five major collections acquired to date, with rooms dedicated for future display of new collections. A 2,100 square-foot performance space is also included within the building to allow display of the entire collection of vintage instruments.