Pomona College’s Bridges Hall of Music turns 100 this year, marking a century as an iconic and vibrant center for both music and community events.
Known as “Little Bridges,” the beautiful concert hall in Claremont, Calif., was a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Appleton S. Bridges in memory of their daughter Mabel, a member of Pomona College’s Class of 1908 and a student pianist.
The hall’s blend of architectural styles helps make it a masterpiece. Known for his Mediterranean and Spanish-influenced designs, renowned architect Myron Hunt also is responsible for such notable Southern California landmarks as The Huntington Library, the Pasadena Public Library and the Rose Bowl.
Little Bridges is distinct with its stately columns, and hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling. The hall’s outstanding acoustics also set it apart, says Pomona College Professor of Music Graydon Beeks.
Hosting 40 to 50 free concerts each academic year, the music played at the hall spans genres, including classical, folk, jazz, non-Western music and more—and thanks to the building’s construction, they all sound great.
Musicians who have performed at Little Bridges include Martin Neary and the Millennium Consort Singers, soprano Lucy Shelton, and the Tyva Kyzy Tuvan Throat Singers. It is the stage for the College Orchestra, Band, Choir, Glee Club and Balinese ensemble Giri Kusuma.
Professor Beeks started at Pomona as a student in 1965 and sang as part of the choir at the Little Bridges 50th anniversary event. Today he oversees the building as the supervisor and conducts the Pomona College Band. “It has been a great privilege for me to work in Little Bridges for what has now been just over half my life,” he says.
To celebrate the centennial, special performances will be held at Little Bridges, including:
- Chalifour and Friends, Oct. 10, 8 p.m.
(With Martin Chalifour, Los Angeles Philharmonic Concertmaster)
- Kronos Quartet, Nov. 14, 8 p.m.
(Renowned Grammy Award-winning string quartet)
- Members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra play Bach, Nov. 21, 8 p.m.
- Alumni Palooza, Feb. 12, 8 p.m.
(Pomona alumni musicians from the 1960s to the 2000s will perform music from the Western classical music tradition, cutting-edge 21st century avant-garde styles, and contemporary popular singer-songwriters)
- Pomona College Choir and Orchestra, April 15, 8 p.m.; April 17, 3 p.m.
(Performing Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem [A German Requiem])
All concerts are free and open to the public. Little Bridges is located at 150 E. Fourth St., Claremont. For more information about concerts, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (909) 607-2671 or visit www.music.pomona.edu.