Hill Auditorium History and Information

Screen grab of search terms arriving at the blog for the last year

A screen grab of some top search terms for the past year.


I was surprised to find while looking over my blog stats this afternoon to find that, of search phrases that bring visitors to the blog, “hill auditorium” was the second highest. This is not to say that it brought a lot of visitors — only 7 — which makes me think that people are interested in performances more than musical instrument studies. (Duh?!) Nonetheless, Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium seems to bring a lot of traffic here. This is likely due to my May post on the pipe organ in Hill Auditorium, “The 1895 Columbian Organ,” which was really just a positive reaction to James Tobin’s article about the instrument in Michigan Today.

If you end up here with an interest in Hill or in the pipe organ, you probably want to know more than I wrote in that post. I’d recommend first, if you’re interested in the building’s history, to read Tobin’s article. Next, you might want to visit some of these links:

Hill Auditorium Stage; photo by Paul Jaronski, UM Photo Services

Other ideas? Add links in the comments, please!

The 1895 Columbian Organ

Hill Auditorium Stage; photo by Paul Jaronski, UM Photo Services

In a feature article in the online edition of Michigan Today, James Tobin contributed an article titled “The Great Pipe Organ.” Tobin chronicles the history of the organ in the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium. In his observations about the importance of such large instruments in 19th-century American communities, Tobin notes the culturally organological viewpoint. Summarizing the importance of the organ to a community, he writes:

Americans of the late 19th and early 20th centuries listened to great pipe organs with a mixture of technological awe, local pride, and aesthetic rapture. Cities competed to buy the biggest and best.

Read more, and see the illustrations, at http://michigantoday.umich.edu/2010/05/story.php?id=7735

See also James Kibbie’s site with specs of the Hill organ.