By Carin Holmes
Construction is ongoing for the new Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion Research.
The Wells-Rapp Center is a KU Foundation project that will be used to house and display the mallet percussion instruments, music and artifacts that KU has been acquiring over the last three decades, according to KU Foundation Director of Communications Jillian Lovejoy. The building will be a working facility that will include a room for live performances as well as opportunities for researchers to come see what materials KU has.
“It will be really nice to give all of these instruments a home together,” said Lovejoy.
Dr. Frank Kumor, Chair of the Music Department, shared this sentiment. He was excited to have a place for all of these rare mallet percussion instruments as there is very little space to store them now, and believed that this will make them more accessible for researchers and visitors to view them.
Dr. Kumor said that KU’s collection of rare mallet percussion materials included the personal music and instruments of Clair Omar Musser, experimental instruments from Deagan and unpublished manuscripts.
Both Lovejoy and Dr. Kumor cited national and international interest in viewing the items at KU, with interest coming from throughout the United States as well as Australia, Europe and Mexico.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the center took place at the end of Aug. 2021, and has not faced any complications so far according to Lovejoy. The project is not expected to bring any disruptions to walkways or roadways on campus over the duration of construction and the construction is expected to end sometime late summer or early fall.