Trinity College Celebrates the Opening of the Gruss Music Center

Alumnus Josh C. Gruss ’96 Brings Music to Life on Campus

​Hartford, Connecticut, June 2, 2016 – For Josh Gruss ’96, the dream of giving back to his alma mater reached a high note with the opening of Trinity College’s Gruss Music Center on May 19, with alumni, students, faculty and staff members, and friends among the attendees. Gruss, who has always made music a part of his life, started playing guitar at a young age and aspired to have a career in music. An early and enthusiastic supporter of the center since its inception, Gruss has helped bring music to life at Trinity through his philanthropy.

 Eric Galm, Josh Gruss ’96, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, and Cornie Parsons Thornburgh ’80 outside the Gruss Music Center
​Eric Galm, Josh Gruss ’96, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, and Cornie Parsons Thornburgh ’80 outside the newly opened Gruss Music Center.
The Gruss Music Center features a Music Hall with acoustical treatments to accommodate the teaching, rehearsal, and performance of all genres of music. Its electronic music lab, underwritten by an anonymous donor, more than doubles the technology and seating of the previous space. The center also boasts a state-of-the-art recording room and four practice rooms, each with recording capabilities.

At the event, Cornie Parsons Thornburgh ’80, chair of Trinity’s Board of Trustees, thanked Gruss for his support of the project. Thornburgh also recognized leadership donors Palmer Sloan Harckham ’82 and Finley Harckham P’10, ’15, ’16, and Richard Field ’63, who gifted the front entrance and a practice room, respectively. “We are here to celebrate a renewed dedication to music education at Trinity, made possible by the leadership and philanthropy of many in attendance,” Thornburgh said. She also recognized Eric Galm, associate professor of music and chair of the Music Department at Trinity, for “his vision of music education.”

In her remarks, Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney noted that the new center further establishes the performing arts as an important component of a liberal arts education and that Gruss’s gift helps to ensure that it will be a mainstay of a Trinity education for future musicians, writers, and performers.

Galm credited Gruss’s bold vision for a new place for music at Trinity and Berger-Sweeney’s commitment to bringing the center to fruition.

During the reception, attendees were entertained by three music majors from the Class of 2016: David Klestadt, Ebban Maeda, and Austen Ballard, along with drummer Alex Rusbarsky ’18. Guests were also treated to a musical presentation in the Music Hall by students Yu-Ting Wu ’18 and Yaoqi Guo ’17, who performed Mozart’s “Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in C major, K. 521.”

“This is a momentous day for the Music Department and all the musicians on campus who now have a wonderful place to call their home,” said Gruss. “Music is the lifeblood of many new experiences. Music brings people together. It’s universal and connects people around the world, and I’m sure that the center will connect everyone on campus.”

Gruss graduated from Trinity with a B.A. in French and Italian, and in 2010, he earned an executive M.B.A. from Columbia University and the London Business School. He also attended Berklee College of Music and serves on its Board of Trustees. Gruss was a member of the Trinity Board of Fellows and was a trustee of the College. He is CEO and chairman of Round Hill Music, a full-service music publishing and rights-management company whose catalog includes songs by Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, and The Beatles.

Click here for a video of the event.

Written by Julia S. Chianelli

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