The Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium is an acoustically rich, 700-seat concert hall in Crouse College that houses a magnificent 3,823-pipe Holtkamp Organ below a 70-foot-high open timber roof and stained glass windows.
The hall primarily functions as the main performance space for the Setnor School of Music, but it is also frequently used by such community groups as the Society for New Music and the Syracuse chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
More than 200 free performances take place in Setnor Auditorium each year. In one week alone you might see the premiere of a new work by a local composer, the performance of your favorite Beethoven symphony, a senior’s solo clarinet recital, and a guest artist’s violin recital.
The Setnor School of Music presents a number of concert series in Setnor Auditorium, including:
- Setnor School of Music Guest Artists Series
- Setnor School of Music Faculty Recital Series
- Setnor School of Music Ensemble Series
- Setnor School of Music Student Recital Series
We invite you to visit Setnor Auditorium to attend a performance; events are listed on our calendar. Most concerts are free, and we provide free and easy parking.
If you are unable to come in person, please know that we stream many of our performances live over the Internet. Check each event’s specific listing on our calendar for streaming confirmation. Please note that these performances are only available for viewing at the time they are presented and cannot be viewed after the live performance.
The history of Setnor Auditorium and of Crouse College is ingrained in that of Syracuse University itself.
Built through the generosity of Syracuse businessman John Crouse as a memorial to his wife, Crouse College was intended to be used only as a women’s college. Designed by Archimedes Russell, it was built in the Romanesque Revival style with High Victorian Gothic qualities. The first cornerstone was laid in June 1888, and the building was completed in September 1889. It was officially named the John Crouse Memorial College for Women.
Crouse died before the building’s completion. After his death, the building was opened by his son to both men and women. It housed the first college of fine arts in the United States and was the third building on campus and highest structure in Syracuse when it was built. In 1974, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Music and the arts have always flourished in Crouse College and Setnor Auditorium. As the home of the Setnor School of Music, Crouse College is an active, dynamic building bustling with dedicated music students.
Crouse College’s auditorium was originally intended as a chapel. It contains an intricate 70-foot beamed ceiling and a medieval church atmosphere. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the auditorium provided a space to hold concerts and recitals.
In 1998, thanks to a generous gift from Rose and Jules Setnor, the auditorium underwent a renovation that included replacing the seats with wooden chairs reminiscent of the originals, refinishing its hardwood floors, and cleaning the chandeliers and organ pipes. The music school and the auditorium were renamed for the Setnors.
Attending a concert in this beautiful wooden space, with sunlight illuminating the stained glass windows that line each side of the auditorium, is a transcendent experience, linking the room’s atmosphere to the musical performance.
The auditorium’s organ was a gift from John Crouse and was originally built by Frank Roosevelt in 1889. It was rebuilt by Estey Organ Co. of Vermont in 1924. In 1948, Arthur Poister joined the faculty of Syracuse University and sought to acquire new instruments by Walter Holtkamp of Cleveland, whose pioneering work led to the development of a new eclectic style of American organ that could handle a wide variety of 16th- to 20th-century repertoire. Holtkamp reused a substantial amount of pipework from the Roosevelt organ, giving this instrument even greater flexibility than most of Holtkamp’s original instruments, with warm foundation stops suited to the performance of Romantic music, alongside the clear, bright voice of the neo-Baroque ranks. The new organ was dedicated on November 13, 1950, and has 3,828 pipes and 20 chimes.
Attending an Event
We invite you to attend an event in Setnor Auditorium. Our calendar can provide the most up-to-date information on the program, parking, and any special notes about the event. If you have any questions about attending an event, please call our operations office Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at 315.443.2191.
Setnor Auditorium is located in Crouse College on Syracuse University’s Main Campus. See campus maps.
The campus is not far from the Syracuse’s Regional Transportation Center and Hancock International Airport. Centro buses and the free Connective Corridor bus service also come close to campus locations. Information about various transportation services can be found on Visit Syracuse, the city’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau website.
For most Setnor events, free and accessible concert parking is available on campus in the Q-1 Lot, located behind Crouse College. Additional parking may be available in the Irving Garage or other lots. Parking attendants will direct visitors to available locations. Campus parking availability is subject to change, so please check the calendar listing for the event or call 315.443.2191 for updates.
Presenting an Event
Setnor Auditorium is a beautiful and historic space.
Our schedule can be densely packed with Setnor School of Music and Syracuse University events, but we are always happy to talk with you about the possibility of having your event in Setnor Auditorium. For information about possible use of the space, please contact Michelle Taylor, Assistant Director of Operations, at , and visit Setnor Visitors and Requests page for more details.