Nazareth inaugurates a musical performance center

A new $15.5 million music performance center is being built at Nazareth College, thanks to generous contributions from the children of the late Jane and Larry Glazer.

Nazareth officials announced the project Monday at a groundbreaking ceremony.

The 550-seat concert hall, which is expected to open in spring 2018, will be built next to the Nazareth College Arts Center on the Pittsford campus. It will be to the east of the Arts Center and connected to it by a footbridge.

In its announcement, Nazareth said the Jane and Laurence Glazer Music Performance Center is funded in part by contributions from the three Glazer children through the Jane and Laurence Charitable Trust, in memory of their parents. The amount was not disclosed.

Numerous other private donations will also help fund the project as well as $1.5 million in public funds.

Larry Glazer, CEO of Buckingham Properties, and his wife, Jane, died in September 2014 when the plane he was flying lost cabin pressure and then crashed off the coast of Jamaica.

Kenneth Glazer, one of the children and trustee of the couple’s estate, said in the Nazareth statement that as a member of the Nazareth board, “our mother Jane has always been supportive of the college music program , and we know how important this building is to nurture future musicians as well as provide a venue for the entire community to enjoy professional music.”

The other two children are Melinda Glazer Maclaren and Richard Glazer.

Nazareth President Daan Braveman added that as an alumnus of Nazareth and a board member, “Jane was passionate about supporting the arts at her alma mater.”

He described Jane and Larry Glazer as “business visionaries” and said the new center will be a “permanent way to remember their legacy on our campus.”

Students walk to the Golisano University Center building at Nazareth College.

The center will be designed for the acoustics of large instrumental ensembles. The existing Linehan Chapel in Nazareth is for choral music and the Arts Center’s Wilmot Recital Hall will continue to be used to host solo and chamber music recitals.

“It gives us a home,” said Beverly Smoker, chair of Nazareth’s music department. “Now we get a room designed for music.”

The Arts Center Callahan Theater was not designed for live music.

Nazareth’s musical programs expanded. Its music department has enrolled the second highest number of new students in college, and 17% of Nazareth students are pursuing music studies.

In addition to meeting the needs of the college, the new center could be used for community programs and collaborations.

The performing arts center announced last week for downtown Plot 5 is a much larger facility, with 3,000 seats planned, and will be designed for a different level of performance, including traveling Broadway shows.