St. Norbert College to name new hall after Dudley Birder

From St. Norbert College, May 15, 2012
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, (920) 403-3089

For years, Dudley Birder has shared his time and talents with northeast Wisconsin. Now the "Music Man," as he's affectionately known, will have his name attached to a special building.

St. Norbert College president Thomas Kunkel announced last Friday that St. Boniface Church, located on the corner of Grant and Fourth Streets in De Pere, will be renovated and named Dudley Birder Hall.

"This is a wonderful tribute to Dudley Birder and all he has meant to St. Norbert College and, really, the entire community," said Kunkel. "For more than half a century he has taught and influenced countless students and touched the lives of everyone in this region who loves music and musical theater. And since so much of his work has been devoted to sacred music, we think it is especially apt that the newest incarnation of this grand old church will be called Dudley Birder Hall."

The $1.7 million project, supported by donors, will convert the church into performance space, especially for music. It will hold about 200 seats and will be used for recitals, chamber concerts and public lectures. It will also be used for Dudley Birder Chorale rehearsals. Much of the work will involve installing professionally designed, custom-made acoustical materials for state-of-the-art sound quality. The project is expected to start in July, with a projected finish date in December.

Dudley Birder joined the St. Norbert College music faculty in 1958, and over the past five decades he has developed and led musical initiatives that have brought together the campus and local communities.

For more information on Dudley Birder Hall, contact Mike Counter, director of media relations at St. Norbert College. He can be reached at 920-403-3089 or mike.counter@snc.edu.