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The History of CCPA

Auditorium Theater

The Historical Auditorium Theatre

 In 1867, Florenz Ziegfeld, Sr. established the Chicago Academy of Music, the fourth music conservatory in America. (Florenz Ziegfeld Sr. was the father of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., the famed Broadway director and producer.)

In 1871, the Chicago Academy of Music moved to a new building, which was destroyed only a few weeks later by the Great Chicago Fire. Despite the conflagration, the conservatory was back in session by the end of the year.

In 1872, the school changed its name to the Chicago Musical College. Over 900 students were enrolled in that year, and a teachers' institute was added to the school's offerings. Tuition in those days cost an average of one dollar per lesson. Four years later the State of Illinois accredited the College as a degree-granting institution of higher learning. A preparatory division was opened which established branches throughout the city.

In 1917, the Chicago Musical College added a Master of Music Degree to its offerings, and seven years later the School became a charter member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

In 1925, the College moved into its own eleven-story building at 64 E. Van Buren Street. The School opened three dormitory floors for students and boasted over 125 faculty members on its rosters. In 1936, the Chicago Musical College was admitted as a full member to the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools - the only independent music college in the Midwest to enjoy such status. By 1947 the College was offering Doctorates in Fine Arts and Music Education.

In 1954, the College merged with Roosevelt University's School of Music, which was founded in 1945. The name "Chicago Musical College" was retained for the new college which was created by the union of the two schools. All operations moved to join Roosevelt University in the now-historical Auditorium Building in Chicago's Loop. The 4,200-seat Auditorium Theatre (for which the building is named) is known worldwide for its architectural integrity and perfect acoustics.

In 1997, Roosevelt University established a College of Performing Arts, which joined together the Chicago Musical College and the Roosevelt University Theatre Program. In 2000, the College of Performing Arts changed its name to the Chicago College of Performing Arts, known colloquially as CCPA. The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University is now made up of The Music Conservatory and the Theatre Conservatory.