The History of the Virginia S. and W.W. Nelson Department of Music

The Department of Music at Rollins College began as a Conservatory of Music even before the College‘s founding in 1885 and is a charter member—since 1931—of the National Association of Schools of Music. The Conservatory enjoyed a reputation as one of the finer schools in the Southeast offering pre-professional training in music. That reputation has continued since 1966 when the Conservatory merged into Rollins as a liberal arts department. Keene Hall was built in 1974. In 1992 the Department was the recipient of a significant bequest from the estate of Virginia S. and W.W. Nelson for whom the Department is now named. Keene Hall was substantially remodeled in 2004-2005. This remodel not only completed a long time dream of providing newly renovated, as well as more space for the music students but also enhanced the ability of the community to enjoy outstanding visiting artists in the beautiful John M. Tiedtke Concert Hall. The Department continues the ongoing task of continuing to upgrade its equipment.