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Memories of the Harris Fine Arts Center

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I cleaned the HFAC in the early morning for nearly two years during my undergrad. I've been in every single room in the building. The best rooms were the animation rooms where you could see the students' interesting, creative, and out-there story boards and drawings.
- Dillon F.

The Harris Fine Arts Center (HFAC) holds a very special place in my heart, for it was here I gained my testimony of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Rosemary F.

Though they were more difficult than I could've imagined, the classes I took at the HFAC shaped me into a better person.
- Kaden K.

Here I walked the halls with charcoal on my fingertips, paint on my wrist, and hope in my heart. The students and professors here were my family. Speaking directly to the building, which at this point I'm sure has a soul - thank you for everything.
- Anna W.

The De Jong will continue to ring with the final glorious chords and the spirit that once filled its seats will never leave. We are so grateful for this building, a wonderful vessel of hope, pain, tears, frustration, learning, love, and joy.
- Kayla R.

It was in the HFAC that I became the first college graduate in my family since immigrating to the US.
- John S.

I wasn't the singer or the dancer ... I was the guy that polished the floors every morning (in the HFAC) at 4:00 AM. I vacuumed; I cleaned; I was behind the scenes, and my gift to the arts was to prepare the venue for the performers.
- Britt B.

I was a freshman at BYU and was made the stake choir director. The stake conference was held in the DeJong Concert Hall and I got to conduct not only the entire congregation in singing hymns, but a stake choir rendition of "Behold the Wounds in Jesus' Hands." It was a defining spiritual and musical experience during my formative years and something I will always treasure.
- Michael Y.

I was eating lunch one day in the Cougar-eat. I had set my tree down and was sorting through my lunch. All of a sudden I hear a very deep resonant voice say, “do you mind if I join you?” I looked Up to the somewhat hairless visage of then university president Dalin H Oaks.
- Kevin R.

The HFAC was where I spent a lot of my free time during my freshman year, and it reminds me of my passion for photography. It reminds me of the good memories I created my freshman year, and of starting a whole new chapter of my life by being able to study something I really love. I feel at home when I'm in the HFAC.
- Kimberly T.

I was 13 when I first set foot inside the HFAC. As soon I saw the art and the student films playing, I knew that film was what I wanted to do in life. Then one day I applied to the Media Arts program and got accepted after several attempts. After that I had that same feeling from when I was a kid, confirming that I was on the right path.
- Benjamin V.

I have fond memories of wandering into the HFAC on a Friday night, looking for something to do. I’d go with friends or dates or by myself. We’d write secret messages in musical notation on the chalkboards in music classrooms, or make up games involving the gallery exhibits (“you have 30 seconds to pick which piece of art you’d buy if you could only buy one,” for example, or “tell me one word that each work reminds you of”). As an upperclassman, I began recognizing more of the artists’ names in each exhibit as friends from classes or people I’d interacted with online. I never had a class in this building, but I spent many happy hours here and it played an important role in connecting me with people who are now loved ones.
- Eden B.

I went to BYU in 1980. I worked on the HFAC cleaning crew at 3am, 3rd floor offices. I met someone I worked with; he cleaned the chalk boards in the classrooms. We dated and became engaged, but a few weeks before we were to be married I broke it off because I felt it was not right. Then I came back to BYU for another semester. I met someone else working at the HFAC. He vacuumed the carpets. I was dusting a high shelf when he came to vaccum the rug in the office and asked me to homecoming. We dated and I grew to like this young man. There was a carpeted classroom that was hardly ever dirty. I tore up paper in little pieces and sprinkled them into the shape of a heart on the floor. I had declared my love for the vaccum man. We have been married now for 41 years, with 9 children and 16 grandchildren. After retiring from the USPS, he now works as BYU Events Staff. I'm still in love, thank you to the HFAC!
- Cindy B.

I was a BYU freshman in 1964. I tried out for “The Lamp at Midnight”, the inaugural play in the Pardoe Theatre. I had no appreciation at the time of the significance of the event, as my character had a significant verbal fight with the man playing the Pope, Dr. Metten. The play was directed by Dr. Harold Hansen, one of the greats at BYU. What a great experience as a lowly freshman.
- Marvin R.

To start out, I grew up with a musical family who plays widely diverse ranges of music between Classical and Jazz. I remember seeing my sister's concerts in the de Jong Concert Hall and her recitals at the Madsen Recital Hall. Many of my other siblings also played in the de Jong Concert Hall when they played for Synthesis. I also know a good number of friends of my siblings who were in the music program with them. I became great friends with them too as I saw my siblings grow in their music life.
- Ben S.

The Harris Fine Arts Center holds a very special place in my heart for it was here I gained my testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I had entered BYU as a non-church member and was welcomed with much love and friendship. In 1975, I had been receiving the missionary discussions looking for truth. During the production of Right Honorable Saint, a centennial celebration musical about Karl Maeser, we had opened the show but then lost our lead. Chip Boynton jumped in at the last minute and had one week to put together such a monumental role. The second opening night came. We had an opening prayer as a cast backstage that the spirit would be with us and Chip and all would go well. He was amazing! We again gathered for a closing prayer after the show to give thanks for blessing of a successful performance. It was during that prayer that the Holy Ghost warmed my heart and testified to me of the truth of the gospel. I shall never forget the BYU Harris Fine Arts Center.
-Rosemary Gibbons Flaherty

I had many Merit Badge Camps with Boy Scouts back in the 90’s, and I understandably had my Art Merit Badge classes in the Harris Fine Arts Center. I only went into the HFAC one other time for Education Week 2018, but I heard thousands of stories of all of the plays, choir concerts and other Fine Art Events that took place there. I will sorely miss the HFAC too.
- Jeremy L.

As a music minor, the HFAC was my second home on campus. I had classes in the Madsen Recital Hall. I also had classes, music lessons and practice hours in the underground levels. I attended numerous concerts, recitals and plays in the de Jong, Madsen and Pardoe. Thinking about those rooms brings back a lot of happy memories. I'll miss you, HFAC!
- Jessica P.

The Harris Fine Arts Center has long been my favorite building on campus. The HFAC is where I go when I’m feeling sad or extra happy. I often go for no particular reason to wander the halls or play on the beautiful pianos in the practice rooms. There is so much magic and love in the building that you can sense right when you walk in. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do without it.
- Tyler T.

I've sung many times with the men's chorus in the HFAC and seen a lot of beautiful art displayed in the atrium. One of the most prominent memories is Eric Whitacre directing the Men's Chorus in Sing Gently and Lux Aurumque. I'll miss this beautiful building.
- Seth J.

I spent many hours studying and teaching in the HFAC. One of my great memories is sitting on the grass outside the building before class talking to my wife (then girlfriend) during our courtship. The building will always have a special place in my heart.
- Val H.

It was one of my first concerts that I played in an actually nice place and it was the one of the last times I saw my friend.
- Matthew D.

I met my husband at the Slab, waiting to go into our BYU Singers auditions. So in a way, you could say that the HFAC is part of the catalyst to what is the greatest blessing of my life.
- Felicity C.

I met my wife in the HFAC! In 2015, I was the student choral clerk for Rosalind Hall (the best boss ever) and my future wife had just joined the Concert Choir presidency. She started to come into our shared office each day to gather some materials she needed for class. After a couple weeks of small talk, I asked her out -- our first date was to a Noteworthy concert, also at the HFAC, and the rest is history! We are now graduated and have three kids. We are so sad that the HFAC is being torn down.
- Drew C.

From 1992-1996 my husband, Mike Handy, sang in the BYU Men’s Chorus under the direction of Dr. Mac Wilberg. Every day during their rehearsal time, I would sit in the back of Madsen Recital Hall & do homework while listening to them practice. Also, the Men’s Chorus concerts in the de Jong Concert Hall were always so uplifting & fun. I looked forward to going to those every semester.
- Amy H.

I used to sit in the atrium of the HFAC in between classes a few times a week. I was pleasantly surprised when there started to be free concerts in the atrium on Fridays while I was already sitting there. It was so nice to have the music to listen to while I worked on homework.
- Jamie H.

I met my wife on the stage of the de Jong Concert Hall. We both worked on department of arts task force. I asked her on our first date in the de Jong, and she asked me on our second date on the Pardoe stage. Around one year later, I proposed to her on the de Jong stage. Our co-workers arranged to have a movie night in the de Jong. She showed up along with about eighty other people to watch the movie. About five minutes in the movie cut out and a movie I made about her life, featuring her family as the actors, came on the screen. There were several episodes in the movie leading to the final episode called “the proposal.” I came on screen, showed the ring, then started to propose when all of the lights in the concert hall went dark. The music from the end of Star Wars started playing, and the crew lowered me down from the rafters, where I had been attached to one of the lighting batons. There were spotlights on the stage and I called her up, where I officially proposed. She said yes. Twenty two years later we have four kids and have taken marital bliss to a whole new level.
- Casey G.

Growing up in Provo, the HFAC was an important part of my childhood. It’s where I saw some of the greatest plays, concerts, recitals, galleries, exhibits and other performances. I fell in love with music and drama because of these experiences and opened my mind to the great world around us. I also had many lessons at the HFAC while learning to play the clarinet from some of the most talented musicians. Our school’s band also performed at the HFAC every year, which was my favorite concert because I got to perform on the stage that inspired me. In college, I was able to see the Red Army Choir perform at the HFAC, possibly marking the high-water mark for US-Russian relations in my lifetime. Many fond memories that I cherish and celebrate. Sad to see such a wonderful building go.
- AC

I have so many memories of this special building. Where to start? I loved sitting in the Madsen Recital Hall while BYU Singers were practicing and doing my homework.
- Renee B.

When I started my first semester at BYU, I loved checking out piano sheet music at the library and taking a two-minute walk to the practice rooms in the HFAC. I’d play around on a piano and relieve stress at the same time. Here’s to the new building!
- Isaac N.

When I first came to BYU in the Fall of 1981, I took an Honors Intro to Theatre taught by Dr. Bob Nelson. I was introduced to the magic of this building, and the performances here became a regular enrichment to my college career from 1981-1989. From Pirates of Penzance to The Belle of Amherst by Barta Heiner, The World or Dance, Homecoming Spectacular, The Magic Flute, String Concertos, singing in University Chorale, watching a one-man show on Wilford Woodruff and so much more, even a far out Percussion Ensemble. As young newlyweds, my late wife and I would often visit art displays in the lobby. We were exposed to rich and varied visual arts. My favorite memory there was seeing the original of ‘O Jerusalem’ and we later bought a print for our home. We brought our children back there for events and just to explore when we were on campus. Our scouts came here when we were on Campus for Merit Badge PowWows. Our daughter visited it again when she attended BYU as a student. What a bittersweet surprise it was then, when my wife, Tara, and I came here to watch Merry Widow and found that it was the last, farewell performance in this building… What a treasure this building has been, and how much more valuable has been the learning and growth that has been nurtured here within!
- Steve H.

Watching all the BYU Choir concerts online and just seeing the pure talent from all the singers.
- Caroline C.

This place is my home. I was here from 2015 to 2022 as first an animation major hopeful, and then a graduated Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. I love the vintage bathrooms from the ‘60s with their pink tile and pull-down panels for purses in every stall, the thin rungs of a black ladder leading to a door that probably should have been locked, but unlocked memories for years to come, an opera floating down the hallway, a cello weaving into my lecture on Paleolithic powder. Here I walked the halls with charcoal on my fingertips, paint on my wrist and hope in my heart. The students and professors here were my family. Speaking directly to the building, which at this point I’m sure has a soul—thank you for everything.
- Anna W.

Next to one of the theaters on the second floor, in a tiny little room, there was a computer and a voiceover booth. We called the room “the pocket.” Four years ago, before I graduated, I spent many, many late nights working on student capstone films and other audio projects late into the night. More than once, a security guard would poke his head in as early as 11 PM or (if I was lucky) as late as 1 or 2 AM and told me to get out of there, even though I still had so much to do. It’s weird for me to see a giant cavity in the wall where the voice booth used to be, as well as everything else stripped out. Even though I spent so many long, stressful hours in that room, I know I will miss being able to go back and revisit it. In some ways, it was like a little cozy space for me to enjoy being alone in. Goodbye, HFAC! I’ll miss you, but I’m excited for the future students who will have an incredible new facility to learn about film and theater!
- Jared R.

I attended BYU from 1987-1991 and had choir class and piano lessons in the HFAC. I used the piano practice rooms on the second level. When my boyfriend played a beautiful composition piece for me, he asked me if would marry him. I told him YES! We have been married for 33 years now!
- Heather G.

I was a freshman at BYU when I was made the stake choir director. Stake Conference was held in the de Jong Concert Hall. I got to conduct not only the entire congregation in singing hymns, but a stake choir rendition of "Behold the Wounds in Jesus' Hands." It was a defining spiritual and musical experience during my formative years and something I will always treasure.
- Michael Y.

My wife and I both have many memories in the HFAC. She was in orchestra and choir, and I did opera choruses and a music minor. We both remember all the fun conversations we had with friends at the Slab. We also have so many memories of going to BYU concerts and plays and basking in the performances of the incredible groups and soloists who have come through. Our most special memory was going on our first date to see Bishop Causee and Maestro Giusti perform their album of hymn arrangements. The HFAC will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we look forward to many more years of musical memories at BYU.
- Jacob D.

The Harris Fine Arts Center and its denizens have given me many unforgettable experiences. As a transfer student to BYU after my mission, I thought the law school was the most beautiful building on the outside, but the HFAC was the most beautiful building on the inside. I will miss its tiers, halls, alcoves, galleries and stages. I will remember my peers and roommates waltzing in the Mormon Arts balls, dancing through layers of loveliness. I will forever treasure Dr. Mack J. Wilberg, leading the Men’s Chorus in “Betelehemu.” The soprano in Mahler’s 4th symphony sings for the little children in paradise: “There is not yet any music on earth that can compare with ours.” Perhaps that is true, but on many occasions, the Harris Fine Arts Center brought us all closer to paradise. Recently my friend Bonnie Bingham and I enjoyed such an occasion when we got to attend the VOCES8 a cappella concert in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Due to illness, I had missed their performance when they came to perform a few years before, so I was looking forward to the 2022 performance with great anticipation. The a cappella devotional music of VOCES8 became important to me on Christmas Eve 2017 after I heard the song “Bogoroditse Devo” from the All-Night Vigil by Sergei Rachmaninoff on Classical 89 FM radio. I was sick during the holiday break that year, so I was home alone. As Rachmaninoff’s beautiful anthem began to play, I felt transported to the scene of the first nativity, and I knelt in adoration. Later, I looked for the song online and found the VOCES8 rendition of “Bogoroditse Devo.” I listened to it often and shared it with my friends, students and family members.
- Cynthia H.

I worked on the design of the Museum of Art with the architect who was in the architectural firm that designed the HFAC, James Langenheim. Personally, I enjoyed many years in the building working with many campus clients here on renovation projects with my responsibilities with Physical Facilities Planning. As a student I had many dates in the building, my wife having graduated from the music program. Our favorite photo is of us together, her sitting on the LOVE sculpture leaning on me, before our marriage over 40 years ago.
- Gene L.

I remember singing countless times with the Women’s Chorus and jumping off the risers to finish a song!
- Angela G.

The HFAC will always hold a special place in my heart, and my connection to it is a surprising one. I am not a music or arts student, but the HFAC is dear to me all the same. From 2020 to early 2021 when COVID meant that all classes had to be online, I would participate in my Zoom classes daily from the seating areas on the main floor of the HFAC. I didn’t feel guilty talking out loud as I would have had I been in the library, and I was occasionally serenaded by music coming from some random corner of the building. It was a comfortable place for me for the entirety of that year, and in the following year that “safe space” nature of the HFAC for me translated into being the reason I would frequently sit by the base of the stairs to eat my lunch. It was my comfort zone. I will also always have the fondest memories of playing Sardines with my various FHE groups, using the same hiding spots I’d acquired over the years. I’ll always miss the pink-tiled walls of the bathrooms, the enormous amount of well-stocked vending machine options found in the tunnel and the beauty of the de Jong. The HFAC was my haven!
- Cheynie W.

Singing Carmina Burana as a member of Women’s Chorus just weeks before Covid. Those performances are some I will NEVER forget.
- Emily F.

I was on BYU Theatre Ballet for 5 years, all of which I performed in the beautiful theatres in the HFAC. Some of my best college memories were made while performing in the HFAC. In March 2022, I proposed to my now wife on the de Jong stage after we performed together in Ballet in Concert. The HFAC will always hold a special place in my heart.
- Ryan H.

The Annual Mormon Arts Ball was an elegant evening for a poor college couple. Best part of the evening: trying to merge in to the fast moving polka circle without getting run over. So much laughter (even for those who fell down!). Memories for a lifetime.
- John J.

The HFAC blessed me with countless incredible music experiences. One in particular that I will always treasure is singing on the de Jong stage with my mom for the BYU Singers Reunion concert in 2022. Being able to sing with my mom in a choir and on the very stage that changed both of our lives will forever be one of my most precious memories.
- Lauren L.

We used to come here for band festivals every year when I was in high school. The building has such a cool design, but it seriously is such a labyrinth. It just gives it more personality that way.
- Josh G.

Art and music have always been a big part of my life. When I was a kid I came to the MOA and the animation department. I got to talk to a couple of students and my passion became apparent. I decided I wanted to be an animator. In 2021 I was thrilled to take pre-animation classes here to grow my skill and drive. Though they were more difficult than I could’ve imagined, the classes I took at the HFAC shaped me into a better person. Now I’m a part of the choirs and I have the opportunity to sing a requiem, a last goodbye to this beautiful place. I will miss it.
- Kaden K.

I met my husband through BYU Concert Choir in the Madsen Recital Hall and laughed at him across the room every time he dropped his music off of the front ledge. We flirted, commiserated and laughed day after day at the Slab for the last two years of our college degrees. The de Jong will continue to ring with the final glorious chords and the spirit that once filled its seats will never leave. We are so grateful for this building, a wonderful vessel of hope, pain, tears, frustration, learning, love and joy.
- Kayla R.

It was in the HFAC that I became the first college graduate in my family since immigrating to the US. Many great memories of Public Relations courses and the wonderful Dr. Laurie Wilson!
- John S.

In December 1973 at about 10 p.m., my best friend and I looked for a quiet place to be alone and talk. We settled on the HFAC, downstairs in one of the practice rooms. As we talked, he asked me to marry him! I said yes. Forty-nine years and six wonderful sons and 25 super grandchildren later, we still hold the HFAC with fondness in our hearts as the beginning of a grand adventure.
- Jerroleen S.

I loved wandering the second floor along the practice room hall and listening to the cacophony of people practicing different instruments all at the same time. It was wonderful! Also, being on stage in a combined choir concert singing Christmas music, surrounded in the most complete surround sound of 400+ singers and and orchestra, is a fabulous sublime memory.
- Callis G.

I performed in the Chorus of The Magic Flute in 2019. It is my favorite opera, and I was so excited to start college by performing in it. I had so much fun with my fellow performers, as we struggled not to laugh while onstage, and played Pokémon in the wings. I made friendships that have lasted beyond going on my mission, and hopefully after college as well. It has been an honor to study in a building with such a rich history, and I hope I join the alumni of successful musicians as I enter my career.
- Rachel M.

I have six children, ages 7-23. All of them went through the Young Music Makers program starting with Susan Kenney down through Emilee. We have come here every Saturday for 20 years. My second daughter is here now at BYU singing in Concert Choir a solo tonight in 'Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier.' Dr. Wells was in Men’s Chorus with my husband. When my daughter Glory sang 'Matchmaker' with Men’s Chorus last year, we said, “Now you’ve both been in Men’s Chorus with Dr. Wells.”
- Noel T.

I came to watch my cousin perform here. There weren’t any seats left by my extended family so I sat a few rows up. I ended up sitting next to a girl. She was very curt with me but somehow by the end I got her number. We’ve been married 10 years now. We’ve come back and visited this building many times now. Very grateful for it.
- Tyler B.

In 1964-65 I was a senior majoring in Russian at BYU. Russian cellist Daniil Shafran and his accompanist wife Nina came to BYU early in 1965 to concertize in the gorgeous but barely-completed de Jong Concert Hall of the HFAC, and I was asked to serve as interpreter for the Shafrans for a day even though my Russian then was primitive. Shafran spoke no English and was demanding; he wanted the stage piano tuned to A= 444. It was done, but not entirely to his satisfaction for some reason. He got through the first half of his concert program all right, but during the intermission Shafran announced that he would not return to play the second half of his program unless the overhead lights were readjusted to his demands. The de Jong stage manager said they couldn't do that without bringing in special equipment and Shafran threw a hissy fit. I was struggling to translate his demands and the stage manager's answers, but Shafran was adamant. Finally I gave up translating the stage manager's answers and told Shafran that this was a brand new facility and everything was not quite finished yet. Since new Soviet buildings often have problems, Sharfan immediately understood and agreed to complete the second half of his program. Later as BYU Professor of Russian I taught classes in the HFAC, loved the artistic ambience and often remembered how my Russian was put to the test back in 1965. I'm surprised to have lived to see the beginning and the end of this remarkable building.
- Donald J.

I have spent so many hours in the practice rooms in the basement of the HFAC. When I was tired (which was often), I would find a quiet place under the stairs and take a nap. I always felt safe and held by the building while I worked, rested and expressed myself through music each day. Its quiet solitude was always comforting.
- Amberlee A.

I tripped on the stairs and hit the floor right alongside my violin case. Since this building has such great acoustics, the crash reverberated and people peeked out across all three floors so see what happened. I had a friend carry me out of the building with bruised pride and a sprained ankle. I willl miss this place, but definitely not the stairs.
- Anya Searle

The music and story of "The Rainbow Academy" musical has strong connections to the HFAC. The live piano for the cast album recorded entirely in Studio Y using CASCADE Fat Head Ribbon microphones! The first full read-through of an earlier draft of the musical was done in the HFAC, and conversations regarding recording the original cast album also occurred here. The musical was almost performed in two separate locations in the HFAC, and consequently censored in another room of the HFAC. So through happy and bittersweet moments, our musical has a lot of memories there. We hope that the demolition brings closure and new, happier moments and memories and musicals to come.
- The Rainbow Academy

I did a few MASK clubs here. I made a lot of good friends and had a really fun time. The HFAC is such a labyrinth; I love it.
- Noah C.

I remember hearing from Mitt Romney and Jimmer Fredette in the de Jong, and having my first taste of Graham Canyon on its patio.
- Jamison D.

Women's Chorus and Men's Chorus held a country swing dance in the gallery! It was so much fun to dance and sing along to "Footloose"! It was a swingin' good time!
- Elizabeth G.

I LOVE the sax players ability to play the sax. I really thought they did a great job!! It was so fun to listen to them share their talent with everyone. I really liked the last song they played the best. It was my favorite. I want to bring my roommate next time because he’s my friend and I want to show him how good they are.
- Oliver S.

I cleaned the HFAC in the early morning for nearly 2 years during my undergrad. I’ve been in every single room in the building. The best rooms were the animation rooms where you could see the students interesting, creative and out-there story boards and drawings. Thanks HFAC for helping me to support my family and pay for my degree.
- Dillon F.

I will miss singing in each of the rooms and discovering their particular resonance. The large warehouse space in the basement had such a fun echo. The Madsen and de Jong will forever hold a special place in my memories.
- Carrie J.

About a week into my first semester as a freshman, I realized that there was no where I could be alone at college. I had 6 roommates and a shared kitchen, busy classes and buildings. Then I discovered the grand piano rooms in the basement of the HFAC and my introvert heart rejoiced. I wasn't a music major but I viewed the HFAC as a welcome respite and spent many spare moments between classes practicing piano or sometimes just sitting in a room that felt like my own.
- Julianna B.

I have such wonderful memories of the HFAC and the College of Fine Arts and Communications. I spent so much time in the building during my college years 1976-1982. I received both my BA and MA degrees here and remember walking across the stage in the de Jong getting my diplomas, of course with the help of the CFAC faculty, my fellow students and staff. And now, I work here at BYU (for the past 18 years) and have enjoyed so much spending time in that dear old building, from the many musical concerts, performances, devotionals, Education Week, taking classes as an adult learner and even now learning to play piano and the countless hours of practicing in the basement. BYU will not be the same with the HFAC, but it will long be in the hearts and memories of so many of us.
- Royce V.

A speech & art ed student, I cherish numerous memories of learning, creating and connecting in the HFAC. THE highlight, however, occurred at the end of a 1990s Celebration of Christmas concert when the audience was invited to join all the performing groups in singing, "Jesus, Once of Humble Birth." The sound was beautiful, both loud and reverent; the spirit, absolutely transformative! Singing that hymn now in sacrament meeting, I often get emotional at the memory and can still recall where I sat in the de Jong Concert Hall. To me, it will always be a Christmas song of praise to Jesus Christ.
- John P.

I have compiled a lifetime of memories of the Harris Fine Art Center—decades filled with performances enjoyed, classes (both taken and taught), strolls through galleries and so much more. My most vivid and treasured memories have taken place, though, in the A wing on the HFAC’s fourth floor—hallowed ground to me. That was where I first began to fall in love with a fellow student in 1979 when he and I were enrolled in different art classes held in classrooms off that hallway—he in A-430 and I next door in A-440. As time unfolded, we married, both graduated and started our family. He began a career in graphic design and I was fortunate while raising our children to teach calligraphy classes part-time as adjunct faculty for the BYU Department of Art for 26 years, a job I truly loved, full of delightful and enriching interactions with wonderful students. I taught in the same classrooms in the A wing where David and I had both been students, as well as in others off that hallway and upstairs on the 5th floor. A few years into my tenure I was issued a locker in the A wing 4th floor hallway for storing teaching supplies—it was annually renewed by the Art Department until I stopped teaching 19 years later. I will never forget the number (944) and the combination (42-0-34) and for years afterward whenever we have happened to be in the HFAC, we have always paused in our beloved 4th floor hallway to try the combination; usually the locker doesn’t open, but occasionally it does! (We always slam it shut quickly and guiltily when that happens.) I am sad to think that I have tried that locker combination for the last time, but am forever grateful for the rich memories that I will carry with me of the HFAC A wing fourth floor and how events that took place there over many years have guided the direction of my life and forever will be a blessing to me.
- Nancy N.

The Madsen Recital Hall is a special place for me. Many of my most cherished spiritual experiences occured while listening to performances in that sacred space.
- Chad M.

I spent many many hours in the practice rooms downstairs so it was always a nice treat when I’d get a chance to practice in my professor’s office. One night after finishing up practicing in Dr. Shumway’s office I decided to turn off the lights and listen to Mussorgsky pictures at an exhibition. I opened up the blinds and looked out over campus. It was beautiful to see the lights and listen to beautiful music to finish out a long day.
- Katie P.

When I was a freshman, our Ancient Instrument ensemble, headed by Homer Wakefield, would at each week in December before Christmas, go up on the high lobby floor and play Christmas carols on recorders with Professor Wakefield on the harpsichord. Students loved our mini-concerts and the spirit of the season our music brought to the HFAC.
- Dan B.

I remember the first time I entered the HFAC as a freshman with a deep desire of studying music. When I entered through the doors, I remember being amazed by the design of the building. I saw the tall stairs, the black ceiling, and the bright but warm lights. I felt the Spirit very strong and received a confirmation that I had to study there; that that was the building I had to study in. After that day, I worked extra hard so I could be admitted into the program. I am so glad I eventually made it. The HFAC has seen me grow my talent and build my character. It has seen me single, married and now with a baby. I have learned all I know about music there. I have struggled but eventually succeeded there. I have cried, I have laughed, I have sung my heart out, and I have made beautiful music in this building. I will always cherish all the memories I’ve made at the HFAC, which is like a second home to me. The HFAC is sacred ground for me. I am very grateful for every moment I’ve spent there and for every friendship I’ve made. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING, DEAR FRIEND! You will always have a sacred place in my heart.
- Cristy Ruiz

For over 50 years, the HFAC has held a special place in my heart. My first official date with my future husband was to the Mormon Arts Ball held in the B.F. Larsen Gallery. A year later we were married. My husband passed away a few weeks ago and tonight I attended the last performance held in this beautiful building.
- LeeAnn B.

I will always treasure the time my family and I have come to see the musicals performed in the HFAC. It was the highlight of doing family things. I will miss this place.
- Malie N.

I love to sing. In high school I would come to the HFAC and practice singing in the practice rooms. As I’ve come for school here, those practice rooms became a safe haven for me. I was so grateful for the ability to work on my talents in such a nostalgic place for myself.
- Malie N.

I worked in the theater ticket office next to the Pardoe Theatre. I was given two free tickets to every show and loved watching the productions. In the fall of 1990 a new guy in my ward asked me on a date to a theater production. I didn’t tell him I had two free tickets to the show, so I let him buy the tickets. It was the first of many dates and the HFAC was the setting for the blossoming romance. We were engaged in February 1991. We spent a lot of time in the HFAC. We loved seeing the changing art exhibits and attending theater, dance and music productions. We have since walked through the building many times with our children (3 who have been BYU students). If we were visiting campus from Ohio - a walk through the HFAC was a tradition. I will miss that. If I had known in the fall of 1990 how much the new guy and the HFAC would come to mean to me - I probably would have used my free tickets for the date!
- Anne L.

Tuba Christmas is so fun!
- Drew G.

Last Tuba Christmas!
- Merrit H.

My first year at BYU, my sister and I would go early to the practice rooms. Once we were stopped once by custodial while belting out songs on the truck ramp ""too early"" one morning when roommates had set our clocks ahead. Ushering at the de Jong allowed me to meet many people and share in countless concerts and performances. Band practice and performances were memorable. Once when Brother Bachelder told us on the de Jong stage we sounded too much like a marching band? Countless other memories of classes, performances, exhibits, abound. It was a joy to have my children also make and share their own memories there. Farewell, good friend!
- Jolene C.

So many productions, so many memories. At age 12, I attended “Lamp at Midnight,” one of the first productions at the HFAC. Seven years later I was in a play, “Abe Lincoln in Illinois,” directed by Charles Metten. Years later, my daughter danced in the community dance program and my sons were in BYU choirs. I will never forget the splendor and power of Beethoven’s Hallelujah with the combined orchestra and choirs. I am a part of all that I have met at the HFAC. Thank you BYU.
- Clark B.

Saw a ghost.
- Josh C.

I have so many fond memories of participating in concerts as a member of the BYU Men’s Chorus in 1997-98 and 2000-01. But perhaps my favorite memory is when I was the conductor for our BYU stake choir for an Easter performance and my “friend” and later wife was the accompanist on the organ. It started a tradition of making music together in our marriage and later with our seven children, one of whom is now a violin performance major and whom I have had the privilege of watching perform in the beloved de Jong Concert Hall.
- Jason G.

When the King's Singers came a year ago I had so much fun watching them sing and have fun on stage! I will miss this building and all of the fun amazing things that happened inside of it.
- Holly S.

I have seen and participated in performances in the HFAC since I was a kid. I especially loved coming to watch the Nutcracker here on elementary field trips. But my fondest memories include hanging out in the Madsen lobby before Concert Choir rehearsal and doing the NYT crossword puzzles with my fellow choir friends. Performing in the Christmas choral concerts were also some of my favorite. I’m so glad I could share concerts at the seeing with my own kids, VOCES8, Synthesis, King’s Singers… all so amazing.
- Heidi S.

I have been in this building for several years, watching concerts and participating in graduation ceremonies. There has always been a special feeling of sacrifice in this building of the countless people that have worked so hard on this beautiful campus. So grateful for the many moments that have brought joy to my family and friends in the historic HFAC.
- Emily W.

In this building, I gained a deep and abiding appreciation for words of truth shared through the medium of vocal music led by exceptional conductors under the life-changing influence of the Holy Spirit which lit a flame within my soul that has never left me. Thank you, dear friend, for providing me with the place that has become a Waters of Mormon for my soul.
- Nathan M.

In January of 1996, I met my wife for the first time in an HFAC art class. After a couple of weeks, the instructor asked us to choose a partner and draw them, so I spent that whole class gazing into the eyes of my future wife. A week or two later, there was a snow storm, and somehow, everyone in the class heard that class was canceled - except for the two of us. So we sat alone together and held hands for the first time. We were married just a few months later. Since the HFAC is so significant for our family, it’s fitting that our oldest son is participating in the very last concert in the de Jong Concert Hall.
- Ben C.

I was 13 when I first set foot inside the HFAC. As soon I saw the art and the student films playing, I knew that film was what I wanted to do in life. Ever since then, I felt so drawn to this building. Then one day I applied to the Media Arts program and got accepted after several attempts. After that I had that same feeling from when I was a kid, confirming that I was on the right path.
- Benjamin V.

I remember being a freshman 4 years ago and standing in front of the HFAC just crying. I didn’t think I could do it. 4 years later, I am a semester away from graduating with my music degree and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to study here!
- Grace S.

I cannot even fathom how many hours I’ve spent in this building! I’ve probably experienced the full range of emotions within its walls - joy, panic, sadness, delight, peace. Lots of happy and sad tears shed during my time at BYU. I was especially grateful to have been a member of BYU Singers from 2015-2016. What a gift to spread such quality music in such a top-tier ensemble. HFAC, you’ll be missed. Sorry I used you as a swear word replacement so often.
- Amanda R

There is a room on this campus that is unlike all the other rooms. You may not notice it if you’ve just come in for the first time, though you just as likely might. This room is alive and exciting, sharing a heartbeat with anyone who enters. Mind you, it has every reason to be weary and tired, a sort of dark and foreboding room. Every day, we come to the room, hundreds of us, and we breathe out all of our woes. This room has taken in my tears, and thousands more before mine. It has taken in heartache and heartbreak, anxiety and crippling stress, the fears and passions of those who possess them; it has felt the weight pressing on those who have stopped feeling. The room is sacred to us. I’ve never heard a single word of protest from this room. The room doesn’t give any of our woes back to us, either. In fact, it breathes abundance. I learned in this room that there is always enough. The room pushes back at our doubtful, tired breaths that there is always enough - enough air to breathe, enough words to speak, enough of ourselves to give. “Breathe in the abundance,” the woman at the front of the room tells us. And we do. I usually take my breath from the very front of the room, high in the corner, above the organ pipes. The air in that corner is blazing with sunshine, bright blue skies and the smell of pine trees. Sometimes if I don’t want that air, I might take my breath from the middle of the room, just above my head. There the air is warm with a soft welcoming glow, even when everything else is frozen and distant. Wherever I take my breath from, it brings focus. I learned in this room to be entirely present. The room reminds us every time we come inside that we can be excellent if we focus. Sometimes we try to do more than one thing at a time, and the room patiently waits for us to focus once more. It rewards us for our focus by singing to us. Overtones whistle over our heads and make our endorphins dance. The woman at the front of the room speaks again, her enthusiasm shining through in a sing-song Welsh accent. “Why would you ever choose to be anything but excellent?” she asks. We smile at each other, breathe together and sing. We focus on the words. Words that give meaning to everyday worries. Words that give hope, help and healing. Words that inspire. Words like “esse quam videri - to be rather than to seem.” I learned in this room the real meaning of words. There are so many that we forget some, even most of them. But this room doesn’t forget. The room reverberates with the ageless, empowering meaning in the words. “Benedictus qui veniet - Blessed is he who will come.” The room envelops us in the words. “My sin, not in part but the whole, is laid on the cross;” “Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing;” “Oh Praise God in His Holiness;” The room echoes the word “Alleluia,” over and over and over again. We all have to leave this room at some point. The woman at the front is leaving soon. She’ll take a lot with her; for some she will take almost everything. In years to come, I will leave this campus and the room with it. It may well be that someday the room itself will disappear. But the air will still be there. In those days, we’ll remember the words. We’ll remember the focus. We’ll remember the abundance. The woman at the front speaks to us for the last time. “Wherever life takes you,” she says, before pausing to breathe in, “don’t ever forget the air of this glorious room.”
- Taylor R.

I applied to attend BYU in 1993 but was rejected. I talked to the admissions office and they said the only way I could get in was a half tuition scholarship from one of the departments so I went to the HFAC in the fall of 1993, found the audition board and auditioned for "Merry Wives of Windsor" directed by Barta Heiner. I told her I wasn't a student, but if I could get a scholarship, I could be. She got the ball rolling and I started as a student in the spring of 1994. I was not only in "Merry Wives of Windsor," but "Scapin," directed by Charles Metton, and "Philadelphia, Here I Come," directed by Marion Bentley. I treasured my time in the HFAC as a theater education major and later as a broadcast journalism major before dropping out of school to pursue other interests. I spent so many hours in the HFAC studying, attending performances and rehearsals and hanging out with my friends. This building was the gateway to my acceptance into BYU and I will always be grateful.
- Derek C.

During my time at BYU as a member of the Women's Chorus, the HFAC was always my favorite place to be. Through the music that we sang, I felt my soul grow closer to Christ as our songs testified of Him. I progressed as both a performer and a daughter of God, and I am so grateful for that wonderful opportunity.
- Morgan B.

I will never forget singing “Angels We Have Heard On High” under the direction of Mack Wilberg during the Christmas Celebration concert in the very early 1990s. It left such a deep impression in my heart as how it might feel to sing with the angels announcing Christ’s birth. In all my years since I hold that memory and privilege so dear to my heart. Even more profound is to see my daughter basking in the beauty of singing on that same stage having those same experiences that will impact her life forever! I currently sing with the Kansas City Symphony Choir and I know my love for choral music and the thrill of singing with the symphony started in the HFAC and on the stage in the de Jong concert Hall.
- Holly H.

My first drum solo at BYU and encounter with one of my best friends, Nate Camp, was in the HVAC.
- Kevin S.

I came to BYU as a new convert. Dr. Woodbury was director of Men’s Choris in those days. He was so inspiring. He even let me take a picture of his ear for my photography class. I was still singing when Dr. Wilburg and Staily first came to BYU. Our performance improved remarkebly. Returning in 2018 for graduate work I was overwhelmed at the excellence of performing groups and individual talent. One afternoon my spirits were lifted by Beth Christiansen’s rendition of Liszt’s Appasionata, Etude 10. I believe BYU Fine Arts is at and headed for international performance and leadership.
- Bill C.

The HFAC will always hold a special place in my heart. Ever since I went to Summerfest at BYU when I was fourteen, it just felt like home to me! I spent most of my days as a student in that maze of a building. One of the best parts is that I have been able to take my daughter to the Young Musician’s Academy- held in the same room in the HFAC that so many of my Music Ed classes were in. I’m going to miss the nostalgia that comes with being there, but I’m grateful for the memories and excited for there to be a new building!
- Emily B.

When I returned to BYU in 2015 to finish my undergraduate degree after a 15-year hiatus, my initial classes were in the HFAC. It was a great place to start, since it was a building I had distinct memories of. I took night classes in upper rooms, studied animation in basement theaters, and loved watching projects unfold in the common/display areas. I love it's unique layout and all the different ways you can access the building. I'm very sad to see it go. I'll be visiting soon to get one last walkthrough before it's gone. One of our first art projects for ART 101 in 2015 was to draw Sirius Black as a class. The attached image is our combined work laying on the main floor of the HFAC, as seen from the third floor.
- Nate F.

I went to class in the HFAC almost everyday when I transferred to BYU as an Art Education Major. I loved my art classes, figure drawing, printmaking, sculpture to name a few... As well as my art education classes, taught by great professors who really taught me how to bring art lessons to life. I gained a great knowledge and joy for teaching art while sitting in class in the HFAC, as well as life long friends with my classmates. I have used all that I gained in that beautiful building and shared it with many students as I have taught art for the past 19 years.
- Kate K.

The Harris Fine Arts Center was a huge part of my education. I played in the orchestras, took speech and art classes, and wandered the halls near the practices rooms and the tunnel. I will never forget private lessons with David Dalton and being invited to the viola master class with William Primrose, the greatest violist who ever lived. Irreplaceable will be the magical annual Mormon Arts Ball of yesteryear where orchestras and jazz bands provided the dance music on four floors, surrounded by plays, art displays, and concerts in the theaters, performance halls, and galleries. BYU students and friends in tuxedos and gowns dancing the night away in the excellence of culture which rivaled that found in the great cities of the world. Through the many years in the Harris Fine Arts Center, my treasured experiences moved the needle in awe from First Time Participant to Performing Artist and everything in between.
- Nancy N.

I have many great memories of the HFAC. There is one I find particularly humorous. I went to a practice room one evening to memorize saxophone music for the marching band. Pretty soon someone came and asked me to stop as I was interrupting a performance. I guess my playing was "show stopping."
- April F.

The night I met my husband Jason I had to call the evening short because I had to get up very early the next morning to secure my place in line to sign up for a practice room. In an effort to signal his interest in me, Jason offered to stand in line for me so I could get an extra hour of sleep. Not only did he hold a place for me, but he was the first in line! I got my preferred room, we went to a sophomore recital that night, and were married 8 months later.
- Kathryn W.

Oh beautiful HFAC, my place for reading the New Testament, be inspired by displayed art, waiting for my love to walk in, taking her to a concert for class credit. My life will not be the same without you! Thank you for warming my heart and hands on my way to the Cougar Eat.
- Robert S.

My first date with my husband was at a BYU performance of the Barber of Seville. His hand was on his leg or the arm of the chair the entire play—at least, until I leaned over to him about an hour and a half into the opera and said, "You don't have to, but you can hold my hand if you want to." He was relieved and held my hand. Well, kind of. We spent the next ten minutes trying to figure out how to comfortably hold hands over those HFAC chair arms!
- Krista R.

Fond memories of firing the gas pottery kilns late at night and having Security try to kick us out of the building. Big gas kiln roaring away, flames belching out of the top of the kiln. Told Security, “Fine, you finish firing the kiln.” They let us stay. We did have a note from the Warren Wilson, our instructor.
- Earl B.

I sat in Freshman Orientation in the de Jong Concert Hall in September of 1989. It was like a lightning bolt hit me--my major was going to be Public Relations. It has taken me to Washington, D.C., New York and now I've returned to Utah. I sat in the de Jong Concert hall at the beginning of November 2022 and watched my son joyfully play piano in the Jazz Ensemble Concert. We came full circle.
- Kathryn N.

The Harris Fine Art Center (HFAC) hair is fine art center is a piece of my family’s history. Both my wife and I sang in the choirs our freshman year of 1994 to 1995. As I was in the men’s chorus and she in the women’s chorus, we did not truly meet until years later. She was nearing graduation and attended a Men’s Chorus concert that I was singing in. During intermission, I came up to the waiting area outside of the de Jong concert hall, and she was there with a group, including a young man who had asked her out for the evening. He was momentarily distracted, and I took advantage of the opportunity to ask her on what became our first date. As they say, all is fair in love and war. We attended the Christmas concert in 2022! It's our favorite, but our two oldest children are both singing in the BYU Concert Choir together this year, and it is the last concert that will be performed HFAC concert hall. So in a way we are also going to commemorate the building where our family has enjoyed so much music over the years. Thank you BYU music dept!
- Daniel W.

As a singer I spent a lot of time in the HFAC, but I really got to know every nook and cranny of the building when we played epic games of couples tag in there on group dates. The rules were; no running, and we had to hold hands, and keep moving.
- Julie B.

While my girlfriend was doing a semester of study abroad in Jerusalem, I would go down to the basement of the HFAC to learn 'Forever in Love' on the piano. When she got home I played her this song and knelt down on my knee and proposed to her. We've been married for 27 years now and are even more in love!
- Travis R.

As a freshman, used to get up at 3:30 AM every morning and go buff the floors at the HFAC. I waxed and polished those floors until the shined. I used to admire the student art on the walls while I worked. Good times.
- Gary G.

I spent many hours in the bowels of HFAC from the fall of 1968 until I graduated in spring of 1970. During that time I worked on the KBYU-TV remote crew. Most of that work was running camera at Devotionals, Forums and sporting events. I was pretty excited when we got our first color TV cameras, which were installed in the 40' remote semi-trailer. For one, they were much lighter that the GE image orthicon B&W cameras we had previously. My senior year I got a license so that I could drive the ""remote truck."" Backing that 40' semi down into the tunnel under the HFAC was really a challenge, but I did it on numerous occasions. My other memory was the production of my senior project with Jim Ficklin. We produced an hour-long program about Dr. Lael Woodbury's "W2-Form: An Experiment in Dramatic Form" in the spring of 1970. We documented much of the development and rehearsal of the production, that was staged in a theatre in the round in the basement of HFAC across the tunnel from the TV studio. I believe it was the first student produced program ever to air on KBYU-TV.
- David M.

I will never forget my first performance in the magnificent de Jong Concert Hall, with Synthesis. (I first heard of the legendary Synthesis from a fellow missionary while 6,000 miles from BYU, and I vowed to try to become a member of it when I returned. I was blessed to later be accepted to both BYU and Synthesis.) I had only been home from my mission for six weeks when we had our first Synthesis concert, on September 30, 1976. There I was, on the de Jong stage, surrounded by some of the best musicians at BYU; the curtain was closed, and a hush came over the standing-room-only audience as the house lights went down. The brass and wind players began softly singing their instrument parts of the opening two-bar vamp behind the curtain, almost at a whisper. (It was our acclaimed band director Newell Dayley’s idea.) I started playing a soft solo on my guitar. The piano, bass and drums gently came in. Then, the horn players switched to playing their vamp parts on their instruments, gradually increasing the volume, the curtain opened, the stage lights came up, and the audience of 1,200 cheered, as the full band launched forcefully into the main melody of the song (“Fancy Free” by Donald Byrd). I will always cherish that memory and revere that concert hall in the Harris Fine Arts Building where I had that amazing experience.
- Mark H.

My freshman year I was approached by a girl in my ward. There were too many girls and not enough guys for University Chorale. Professor told her she needed two guys to register so she could register. I said "Why not?" and ended up in University Chorale in the HFAC. I still have the cassette tape of our performance. My only class I ever took there. Wonderful memories of singing in the theater of our concert and practicing every day. Saw Peter Brienholt there freshman year too. The HFAC was always sort of this mysterious bulding with maze like hallways and practice rooms, etc.
- Jay S.

I worked for a dollar an hour building sets for Man of La Mancha and The Order Is Love (along with many others) with O. Lee Walker in the early '70's.
- Wayne S.

I took band my freshman year and we presented a concert in the lobby during Christmas. I still remember the Christmas music back in 1967. The HFAC will always hold fond memories for me. Thanks for the memories and he opportunity to attend a great institution.
-Darel N.

My first experiences with the HFAC started as a young child as I participated in the National Federation of Music Clubs festivals held each year in many of the rooms of the HFAC. I performed in these festivals on the piano and harp. This started my love for music and when I was finally a student at BYU and was accepted into the music program as a piano major. I felt I had won the lottery. The practice rooms became my second home. Often I would sit in the hallways of the 2nd floor to do my homework with all the sounds of instruments being practiced floating around me. I took naps on the benches on the fifth floor where it was usually dark and quiet. I performed in the de Jong Concert Hall and in the Madsen Recital Hall. I remember sitting in the Madsen Recital Hall listening to a lecture about the music of Jimi Hendrix and listening to a recording of him singing the National Anthem. I loved the variety of music I was exposed to. It shaped who I am and made my time there rich and fulfilling. The building will live forever in my memories and in my heart.
-Julie E.

As a former member of the BYU Women's chorus, the HFAC will always be a special part of my BYU experience -- the Madsen Recital Hall where our daily rehearsals were held, the de Jong Concert Hall where I both participated in a watched many performances, and even the HFAC lobby where I met my now-husband after the 2017 Celebration of Christmas concert. I didn't major in an degree that was housed in the HFAC -- and because of that, it it served as a place of refuge for me. I could step in the doors, forget about the pressing assignments and stress from my normal classes, and just sing for an hour or two under Jean Applonie's expertise. When I had some downtime, I often went to the lobby outside of the Madsen Recital Hall to listen in on the BYU Singers' or Concert Choir's rehearsals. I had the amazing opportunity of attending The King's Singers performance. No matter what I was doing in there, the HFAC brought me peace.
-Cami Douglass

I loved the multiple creative disciplines all housed in one location! As a broadcast major and student employee at KBYU-TV I was often in the HFAC basement at the KBYU-TV and FM studios. My soon to be wife was also into the visual arts and spent lots of time at HFAC painting or making pottery. Sometimes, often in the evening, I would just wander around the building soaking up the creative energy. I'd watch students making ceramics, painting, or sculpting. I'd hang out near the music practice rooms and just take in the music from all the different instruments and would often avail myself of some practice time on one of the pianos or organs. Sometimes, I'd observe the costume and scene shops or look in on a play rehearsal. As a budding photographer, I spent time in the dark rooms and the galleries. My girlfriend and I would attend nearly any music or drama performance that was available in the HFAC. Just being in the building immersed in so much creative activity all around me would lift my spirits and stir my own creative energy. Putting so many creative disciplines into one building was truly genius. I have never experienced anything like it anywhere before or since. Many an idea for a television production was formed from seeds planted by my exposure to the creativity energy of HFAC. Together with a fellow student, I even created an award winning documentary at KBYU-TV of an innovative drama production at BYU (W-2 FORM). I hope that the new building will embody a similar range of activities so that current and future BYU students can experience the creative energy that I did in the HFAC.
-Jim F.

Before they moved the Animation studios to the HFAC, there was a section of practice rooms in the F Wing reserved for string players. It was definitely our home away from home where we practiced, did homework, and socialized. One year, one student really upped the home away from home feeling by decorating one of the practice rooms with a floor lamp and artwork. It sure was a cozy space to be in, free from flickering fluorescents and stark white cinder block walls. It was sad when our golden age of practice rooms came to an end.
-Heather S.

Where to even begin? Spent many hours in the HFAC involved in choral and theater productions, and just enjoying the quiet and inspirational space. But probably the best memory was when the actor Jimmy Stewart donated a collection of his movie memorabilia to BYU, and came to campus to host a screening of "It's a Wonderful Life." Thanks to the handsome artist friend who arranged the memorabilia display, I was able to attend.
-Debra D.

I loved learning in this building. I was one of the early students that called this building home. Thirty years later, I got to give back in a tiny way some of what I gained at BYU. I was invited to address the students as a visiting corporate executive. HFAC will be missed, but always cherished for what I learned there.
-Michele R.

As with many classic BYU romances, I fell in love with a boy in my freshman ward. He was very musically talented, and even though he wasn't a music major he took piano lessons at the HFAC each week. Of course I wanted to spend as much time as possible with this boy, so I decided to take an intermediate piano class there as well. At the time we were both living in the old Heritage Halls buildings across the street from the HFAC, and we would often walk over there together to use the pianos in the practice rooms. During one of these practice sessions, this boy told me he had prepared a special piece for me and invited me into his practice room. He played a beautiful song for me which brought me to tears and which I recorded on my phone. Four years later, that recording played as the background music for our first dance at our wedding reception. So, when I think of the HFAC, I think of that warm, fuzzy, falling-in-love feeling that came to me in the depths of those winding hallways of practice rooms, of all places.
-Laura A.

My favorite memory of the HFAC happened during one of my illustration classes. My classmates and I were on the top floor, crowded in a studio room to paint and listen to another fantastic lecture from our professor. Halfway through, our professor left us for a quick bagel run. We all continued to paint while he was away—when suddenly the fire alarm started blaring. After only minimal panicking, we all filed out into the courtyard along with the rest of the students in the building. Just as it began to rain, our professor ran up the stairs with both arms full of bagels and looking very confused. We spent the next 20 minutes happily eating bagels in the rain as the fire alarm rang in the background. An eventful class full of good food, great learning, and the best friends!
-Sarah B.

In 1974 I wrote a Gregorian Chant style song for a music class I was taking. I recruited other members of the class to perform it with me. Having nowhere else to practice, we went into the stairwell. We felt the sound was exceptional as the notes reverberated up and down the hollows of the stairwell. To my surprise, when the time came to perform the piece, the instructor invited the entire class to move to the stairwell for the performance. He said he had heard our practice, and that found it as enjoyable as we had.
-Clifford R.

I remember trying not to trip on the interesting staircases, and a professor telling us that they had to reduce the building by 10%, but you can't reduce staircases by 10% so they had to get creative. But it all worked well since it was the fine arts building and was considered artsy. I also had a roommate who was a theater major and she wondered why it was only the HFAC when it was the Franklin S Harris Fine Arts building and therefore we should call it the FiSHFAC. To this day, I still call it the FiSHFAC in her honor. She passed away in 2005 on her way back from Thanksgiving break.
-Kari N.

Just before Christmas in 1976, I entered HFAC to participate in singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. The inner court of the building was ringed floor after floor with all of us singing. It was amazing, overwhelming and powerfully spiritual.
-Lawrence W.

Of course, we all remember the main gallery in the center of the HFAC on the ground floor and perhaps remember some amazing displays there. But, my wife and I hadn't realized until she gave me small (inoffensive-sized) battery powered, remote controlled car for a birthday in the early 1980s, that the gallery was just the place to run it: smooth floor, interesting obstacles. Controlled from the balconies on the next floor up, it was relatively fun to steer it around the partitions in the gallery. It was a very simple car. It could go straight forward and only turn by backing up, which forced a turn of the rear of the car to the right. Of course, we only did this between semesters (or maybe on a Saturday morning a time or two).
-John C.

Before I left on my mission, my two close harp friends and I decided to have one last hurrah- and what better place to do this than the building where we had spent so many practice hours- the HFAC. We made plans for a super secret sleepover in the largest harp practice room. The day of, we snuck out gear downstairs and even brought a small tv where we could play a movie. We tried to keep quiet and hidden because we knew they kicked out the students and closed the building around 11pm. We turned the lights off and stayed silent as they cleared the building. We spent the night watching movies, eating snacks, talking, and eventually sleeping. We had done it, until 6am. There was a knock on the door and Campus Police had busted us! They took us over to the ABA building and questioned us before eventually letting us go with a stern warning. I called our harp professor to ‘fess up before she got a call from the Dean. Since she was always for anything to promote bonding, she gave us a wink wink and then ordered us to reorganize the string bags as punishment. It was a memorable night and an even more memorable morning. At our end of the semester harp ensemble concert the three of us posed for a photo behind one of the harps, pretending the strings were the bars of a jail. It was perfect way to say goodbye to my friends and the HFAC for eighteen months. -
Cathryn D.

Having spent thousands of focused hours there, the practice rooms on the second level of the HFAC will always hold a special place in my heart. One stressful night at the end of a semester, I tried to practice but was distracted by all of the unfinished responsibilities and assignments whirling around my brain. I took a break, turned out the lights, and knelt to offer a quick prayer asking for help to know how to tackle my to-do list. That practice room became a sacred place to me as I received a clear impression regarding how I could schedule the following few days in order to accomplish everything on my plate. I learned there that the Lord knew and loved me and was willing to guide me through my comparatively minor concerns. That experience has acted as a touchstone to my faith in God.
-Hannah C.

Many memories. The first was doing half of Robert Lowe’s Senior music recital in the Madsen Recital Hall shortly after I returned from my mission. The second is an aggregate of memories practicing the piano in the piano practice rooms in the basement, taking piano lessons from Dr. Pollei, playing on the beautiful 9 foot Steinway concert grand in one of the large upstairs classrooms. The third is seeing our daughter Janessa perform during a BYU summer camp in one of the small theaters downstairs and our other daughter Nikki perform a lead role in Aida in the de Jong concert hall. Finally, seeing the inaugural performance of Robert Cundick’s The Redeemer in the de Jong was probably the culminating experience of not only the time I spent in the Harris Fine Arts center, but while attending BYU but the culminating experience of my time at BYU.
-Doug R.

I stood in the de Jong Concert Hall for the first time attending the freshmen orientation meeting in the fall of 1984. I was not a member of the church then and I was confused when everyone stood up to sing "How Firm a Foundation" and someone prayed. The restored gospel is my firm foundation and whenever I sing or hear this hymn I fondly recall that day in the de Jong Concert Hall in the fall of 1984.
- Mei Jiuan G.

One day I was attending a class in the basement of the HFAC when the power suddenly went out. There was not a glimmer of light to be seen. No one had a flashlight. I suddenly remembered that I had a lighter in my pocket because I used one for my job. I pulled it out and by the light of its tiny flame led the entire class out and to the nearest light source.
- Keith C.

I remember playing Sardines in the “bowels” of the HFAC with some friends during my undergraduate years. It reminded me of Hogwarts. One evening I went down a hallway I had never been before and noticed the artwork on the walls changed from formal paintings to more cartoonish drawings (like in Harry Potter when the artwork starts depicting food as they got closer to the kitchens). I realized I must be where the highly-reputed Animation students worked! At some point I took a turn and ended up in the “wings” during a live performance of (I think it was) “Peter Pan.” It was an absolute maze down there—perfect for exploring. And so many small practice rooms made for great hiding spots! It was a fantastic place to play hide and seek.
- Amanda L.

I came to BYU in the fall of 1976. I was starting my prerequisites for the nursing program, but I wanted to take piano lessons for a year. My sister was a music major and helped me arrange for a piano teacher, Marlene Bachelder, and a practice room. I have very sweet memories of my time spent practicing the piano in the HFAC practice rooms. I also have wonderful memories of attending classes in the HFAC when I returned to BYU to attend the workshop on Church Music each August from 1989 through the late 1990's. I took classes on Primary music, choral music and music conducting. I started learning the organ in the HFAC and have now been playing for my ward for over 30 years.
- Ann C.

I love the fine arts but did not study them at BYU. However, after discovering the treasures of the HFAC -- art displays throughout, pianos I could play if I was lucky, theater halls with events to attend -- I often wandered through the HFAC on my way to or from class, or picked a quiet hallway to study in. Through the art of my fellow students, I felt my spirit lifted and was inspired by a connection to a world so much bigger than my own. I am grateful for the beauty and solace found there and excited for an even more beautifully designed replacement.
- Laurel C.

Two grand pianos sat majestically in the de Jong Concert Hall greenroom as several members of BYU Singers gathered one by one before an evening concert. As I entered that well-loved space, I was greeted by the familiar sound of a Chopin Nocturne played by Nick Bishop—a fellow member of BYU Singers whom I had seen in rehearsal, but with whom I hadn’t really spoken. I looked around for a chair when a sudden, mischievous idea came to mind. With a grin, I crept quietly to the bench of the second grand piano, and as he finished a phrase, I joined him in playing the next! His eyes flew toward mine, filled with shocked amusement, and we glanced back and forth with laughter in our eyes as we continued playing together to the end. That "dueling duet" in the Greenroom of the de Jong began a strong friendship which eventually led to our marriage. This is one of my countless, treasured HFAC memories. The end of the building itself has come, but I will always cherish the learning, enduring, growing and becoming I experienced there in my seven years of music study.
- Christina B.

As a Public Relations student in the late 90s, most of our classes were in the HFAC (later on Comms moved to the Brimhall Building). I have two memories that came to mind. One of them is just being in the hallway studying and then hearing music/vocal students just belt out songs at the top of their lungs out of nowhere in the hallway, doing their homework I guess in public. That was always kind of funny. The other is I used to be the student editor of the Comms Alumni publication called Commworld and my office was deep in the basement of the HFAC off some random hallway. Some days I couldn’t even find my own office if I came from the wrong direction. I couldn’t find it today if I tried!!
- Jon F.

I will never forget my first performance in the magnificent de Jong Concert Hall, with Synthesis. (I first heard of the legendary Synthesis from a fellow missionary while 6,000 miles from BYU, and I vowed to try to become a member of it when I returned. I was blessed to later be accepted to both BYU and Synthesis.) I had only been home from my mission for six weeks when we had our first Synthesis concert, on September 30, 1976. There I was, on the de Jong stage, surrounded by some of the best musicians at BYU; the curtain was closed, and a hush came over the standing-room-only audience as the house lights went down. The brass and wind players began softly singing their instrument parts of the opening two-bar vamp behind the curtain, almost at a whisper. (It was our acclaimed band director Newell Dayley’s idea.) I started playing a soft solo on my guitar. The piano, bass and drums gently came in. Then, the horn players switched to playing their vamp parts on their instruments, gradually increasing the volume, the curtain opened, the stage lights came up, and the audience of 1,200 cheered, as the full band launched forcefully into the main melody of the song (“Fancy Free” by Donald Byrd). I will always cherish that memory and revere that concert hall in the Harris Fine Arts Building where I had that amazing experience.
- Mark H.

The HFAC is a beloved, familiar place to me. I grew up near BYU campus and we had season tickets to the concerts and theatre events there. I'm so grateful for the clean content and inspiring and talented productions I got to see as a child and then later participate in as a violin performance major. I had my favorite study bench and practice room as well as the couch in that particular bathroom where I could take a much-needed nap during the slower afternoon hours. The first time I walked on stage to perform with the Philharmonic, I was in tears. Finally, instead of an audience member, I was participating in the music making! I was moved to tears many times by opera, theatree, art and musical experiences in the HFAC. I had many life-changing classes and violin lessons there and made lasting relationships. I'm thankful for a special building that really shaped so much of who I am today. I'll miss you HFAC!
- Rachael S.

As a double major in Music and Communications, most of my BYU years were spent in the HFAC. Some of my favorite moments were when I was talking to, say, a group of fellow music majors, when a fellow communications major would walk past and say hello, or vice-versa. My classmates were all surprised and impressed that I seemed to know everyone in the HFAC, and that I knew my way around all the corners of the building.
- Matt A.

I met my husband John (BA in acting 80) at the HFAC. We both did quite a few productions there. We had our family picture taken there at 2018, with our seven children and grandchildren. We knew all the rooms of the whole building, even the hidden ones. I love that building, and understand that it's time to let it go for a new building that will create new memories for many people.
- Tuly H.

I loved seeing the portraits of my great uncle and aunt T. Earl and Kathryn Pardoe each time I entered the HFAC. Ironically, to my knowledge there are no descendants who majored in drama at BYU. I did, however, enjoy participating in opera choruses. My brother joined me in the chorus for a performance of "La Bohem." He decided to play a trick on one of the leads which was a good friend. Backstage, he replaced the cream from a prop cookie with toothpaste. During the scene while we, the chorus, were milling about, we had a hard time keeping a straight face when my bother's friend, the lead, took a bite out of the cookie and spit it out!! Good times!
- Shawna D.

I discovered a love for the guitar I had never had before. I lugged my guitar five blocks from campus on freezing evenings in the snow to attend a basic guitar class in the HFAC twice a week. What was then an easy A turned out to be a passion that brings me peace. I'll always be grateful.
- Spencer D.

When I started at BYU as a freshman in 1973, our orientation meeting was led by the new dean, Lael Woodbury. The songs we sang were played on the piano by the former dean, Lorin F. Wheelwright. We were told by Dean Woodbury to get a paper bag, fill it with 13 sandwiches, just in case we got lost for a few days, and explore the HFAC. I did my best to explore every part of it during the almost 40 years I was affiliated with BYU. I think I knew every shortcut in the place.
- Daryl G.

I proposed to my wife Elise in the HFAC! Me and my a cappella group, BYU Parallel Motion, sang "Grow as We Go" by Ben Platt and I invited friends and family to sing along!
- Benji D.

The HFAC's cushioned benches were made for napping. While going to school, I got my daily power nap there. I have attended concerts, musical productions, theatrical productions, recitals, practiced and practiced and practiced. I will miss its "atrium" charm and awesome acoustics.
- Christine P.

I worked in the Theatre & Film Department for two years while attending BYU and have a million memories in the HFAC: Dr. Metten giving me VHS copies of classic movies to take home and watch, theatrical voices ringing through the open atrium, "tap dancing" in the large elevator as me and my coworker Helen Haws traveled down to the props department to pick up deliveries for the main office, taking a quick nap between classes on a third-floor HFAC bench and seeing every BYU Theatre performance during those two years—with a date who then owed me ice cream since I'd treated them to the show (did I mention free tickets came with my job?). The HFAC played a leading role in my time at BYU. It will be missed—but it's nice to know there are many future performances ahead.
- Sherri W.

I loved working in the costume shop on the bottom basement floor. It was quiet and relatively unpopulated down there, which was a nice change from most other places I had to be on campus. I liked getting to the shop first thing in the morning and pulling out all of the costumes for the current shows going on and get started on alterations. The ladies who worked there and did the actual clothing construction had wonderful stories and liked to talk about their BBC shows that they were keeping up with. The themed show opening potlucks were awesome. I kept mostly to myself and didn't really get to know anyone particularly well, but there was a great atmosphere in the costume shop I'll always remember.
- Brenna P.

One afternoon, I was feeling lonely on campus between classes. I missed my favorite boy, who was serving a mission in Spain, and I felt a bit robotic going through my day. I was sitting on a bench on one of the top floors of the HFAC, cold, tired and uninspired. Suddenly, I heard the strains of a familiar melody: "Be Still, My Soul." But when the words of the singers started registering, I realized they were different words. Looking down toward the bottom floor, I saw the University Singers gathered in the center bottom. They sang, "I love the Lord, in Him my soul delights..." The words were from 2 Nephi 4—feeling wretched but turning to and trusting in the Lord. I was instantly mesmerized and uplifted as I felt the love of the Lord. The joy and peace that filled me because of their mini-rehearsal was an answer to a girl's prayer on a winter day.
- Marcy R.

Of course, I went to sleep in my apartment, but the HFAC was home, and the people there were family. It was a magical place where you could be anyone and be transported anywhere. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. Although theater has not been relevant in my entire career, I don’t regret it as a major for one second. While it is regrettable that future generations won’t be blessed by the grace and majesty of that place, I pray that its replacement facility will be a safe space for them as was the HFAC.
- John G.

As a business manager I took several art classes and humanity classes during my four years at BYU in the 1980s. I loved strolling the HFAC building to view the art on display on a regular basis. Sometimes my own was on display in the class cases upstairs. The open center of the building was beautiful. Strolling the HFAC brought much-needed stress relief after many hours of homework at the library. The art on display was always inspirational. My wife and I also loved going to concerts, music, dance and theatre performances at the HFAC. So many great memories. We will miss this building for sure.
- Mark S.

I saw some great musical performances there, but I mostly took the best naps in the HFAC. The top floor was dark and had the perfect amount of background noise for a snooze between classes.
- Erin M.

I have several memories of the HFAC spanning nearly 40 years. As a student, I would sometimes find a spare practice room to play the piano and think of home. I remember attending the Fine Arts Ball with my new husband because I won tickets for competing in the writing contest (I recieved an honorable mention). That was a beautiful and entertaining event with the orchestra taking turns with the band for live dance music. In the performing rooms, different types of artists presenting cultural and funny entertainment throughout the evening. Instead of a dance card, you filled out a performance card to try to fit in all of the entertainment. I still remember some of the acts with delight. Later after moving away for many years, I became an employee in the TMA department and worked with gifted faculty, staff, and students for seven years from 2003-2010. Occasionally I gave tours to prospective students--through the prop room, makeup room, and back stages. I loved the hallway down below big enough for a semi to drive through. I often took the long walk to work through the building to see all of the artwork on display or listen to the musicians perfecting their craft. It was a beautiful and special building.
- Kim P

Freshman year, first time spending church in a building that is not your traditional church building from all my growing up years. I lived in Heritage, Young Hall. We were absolutely thrilled when our church assignment location was received...the de Jong Concert Hall in the HFAC. Not only was it pretty much the closest building to us, it was also one of the most elegant options for a sacrament meeting venue. I absolutely loved that first experience with the HFAC. Although subsequent years with church in my chemistry and stats classrooms were unique and memorable, I will always be grateful for my first church home in the HFAC.
-Tawna T

Not only was it the building where I originally met some of my favorite roommates, but it's also the building where I took the freight elevator down to the basement to grab a snack from the vending machines and learned the hard way that the vending machines were NOT, in fact, in the actual basement of the building. Never did find the stairs to get back up to floor 2 that day, so I hung my head in shame and took the elevator back up.
-Natalie P.

To present day I can't enter HFAC without being transported back to a summer music conference held during the early to mid 70s. My mom (the attendee) was a voice and piano performer and instructor, though she obtained her BFA elsewhere. Mom is no longer with us. Somehow the sights, sounds and smells of the HFAC have stuck with me nearly 50 years later. Visiting the place always brought me back to when my mom was young and I was just a little kid. This summer conference also was the first of many events that solidified my enduring love for BYU.
-Dean B.

I had church and choir in the HFAC but one of my favorite memories is when there was a James C. Christensen exhibit. Several of the pictures had fish in them and the guy I liked had the last name of Fisher, so I invited him to go see it sometime. I don't think he'd ever been in the building before and he wasn't super interested in art but he came anyway. He ended up loving the exhibit so much and became a huge Christensen fan ever after. We ended up getting married and have enjoyed having puzzles and prints in our home.
-Yoland F.

The HFAC has had an impact on my family lasting three generations. For three decades my grandparents taught, directed, starred in, co-founded, soloed, served, edited, composed, worked and touched the lives of thousands of student musicians in the HFAC. Both my parents performed on the stages of the HFAC in piano and opera and it was in one of the music halls where my dad proposed. As a little girl on Sunday evenings I would play hide-and-seek with my brothers in the numerous practice rooms (and sometimes squished between the stored and padded timpani in the orchestral practice rooms). As a student, I performed in the Philharmonic Orchestra both onstage and in the pit of the de Jong. And finally, my dad and I rehearsed our 'daddy-daughter' dance for my wedding in the de Jong green room. These memories made under the roof of the HFAC will be treasured and I hope my own children and grandchildren will make similar memories in the new music building.
-Eliza D.

I had several elective classes in the HFAC including an Intro to Guitar class one Summer term. I have a vivid memory of a special girl who 'accidentally' stumbled into me at the base of the HFAC stairs (the ones closest to the library entrance). We had some hints that there was mutual interest but this was the first "here's your sign!" moment that she was actually interested in getting to know me better. We've been married 18 years now and have 5 kids.
-Lewis G.

Many great memories from beautiful music to inspired lectures to moving art exhibits. Most impactful, however, was an evening during a business seminar some years after graduating.Our “keynote” speaker was Mitt Romney before he began years of public service. He spoke about being bold in doing good and standing for right. I still have my notes. We then were told we had surprise speaker coming after a stretch break. Our surprise was elder Neil L. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who, not being aware of the previous message, presented a deeply impactful sermon on the critical trait of meekness. What could have been very juxtaposed messages provided a life changing understanding of the ability, if practiced, to accomplish both.
-Douglas G.

I decided against majoring in music but still wanted to participate in the music program. After sitting 1st chair in the cello section of the Symohony Orchestra as a Freshman, I was blessed to play in the Philharmonic Orchestra during my Sophmore year (2002-2003). Sometime during that year the philharmonic recorded a few pieces for BYUtv. For several years (maybe a decade!) I regularly had friends and acquaintances recognize me on the street after viewing the performance. "Hey! Aren't you that cellist?" Indeed, I am.
-Melanie L.

My roommate was in the Opera company and got me a chorus part in a summer session show. I had never spent time in the below-ground floors and frequently got lost in the labyrinthian passageways of the subterranean HFAC world. Once, while walking out of practice with two friends, we came to an intersection and each said our goodbyes, each going our separate ways. Two minutes later we all met up again, leaving by the same door. Over the summer, I learned how to find my way around and formed some wonderful memories with the company. Farewell, dear HFAC, may your maze-like passageways be buried and forever confuse future archeologists as they once confused me.
-Daniel J.

Throughout the years I spent at BYU, I found myself in the basement of the HFAC frequently looking for any open practice room. If I was stressed, I went there to pound it on piano keys. If I was in love, I played and sang love songs for hours. It’s hard to think about that building being gone, I used to picture bringing my babies back to BYU to play on those same pianos.
-Mackenzie B.

I am grateful to have worked with Brett Thomas and Mike Ohman in the School of Music. I enjoyed working in the HFAC but more importantly I love and cherish the people that I associated with there. I hope the new building has a better layout - it was always funny to get asked where C-580 is while in the School of Music offices in C-550. It was always hard to explain and find.
-Michael W.

I grew up next door to my grandparents, A. Harold and Naomi F. Goodman. Grandad was the chair of the School of Music and was influential in building the HFAC. He was a violinist and conducted the university's symphony. When I was three years old, I got a little tiny violin for Christmas and Grandad started teaching me how to play. My first concert was at the de Jong Concert Hall at the age of 4. When my three-year-old sister saw Grandad come out on the stage in his tux and tails, she yelled out, "There's Grandad! Why does he have tails?" We went to many concerts and performances while growing up. I especially loved the Nutcracker every year. While I didn't choose to major in music, I had a great love for the HFAC. To this day I still remember exactly the smell of the building--maybe a mix of piano polish and the anticipation of a performance. I love the HFAC.
-Jenny R.

The HFAC and I go way back. As a communications major, it was my home away from home during my four years at BYU and it has welcomed me back many times in the decades since I graduated. I have climbed the well-worn stairs and ridden the elevators thousands of times on my way to work, classes, church, concerts, theater productions, firesides, piano lessons, practice hours, auditions, office hours, dates, formal dances, study groups, special events, music camps, and in my quest to find a quiet place to rest. I even fell asleep in the office behind the de Jong Concert Hall box office one night while cramming for a final. My fondest memories, though, are firmly entwined with my time working with the Division of Arts Production's Paul Duerden, who managed the box office and oversaw publicity for the many music and theater performances that took place there each year. As a boss, he looked out for his student employees, giving us opportunities to rub shoulders with world-renowned musicians and church leaders. The opportunities he gave me to grow as a writer and editor were invaluable and I have cherished him as a mentor and friend through the years. Paul passed away in April 2022. Even though he moved on from BYU in 2007, I can't imagine the HFAC without him. I will miss them both!
-Lana C.

A favorite memory id playing Sardines with an FHE group really late one night. I think someone on a cleaning crew let us in!
-Deeann S.

I wrote this song in commemoration of this beloved building.
- CJ M.

The HFAC holds a very special place in my heart. So many wonderful memories! Beyond the countless hours spent there practicing as a music major, it was also where my wife and I shared our first kiss as freshmen students. We would sit and talk for hours on the heat vent located just outside the west side of the HFAC building. Three years later, after returning home from my mission, I proposed to her at the very same spot that we shared our first kiss. Every time we visit the campus with our four boys, we walk past our favorite spot and tell them “our story" and where it all began. I am sad to see my favorite BYU building go but will always have many wonderful memories to take with me!
-Ryan W.

Spent many hours in the Harris Fine Arts Center even before I began my college work there. First off, I played the part of Jiminy Cricket in a production put on by the tv studio. I want to say it was called "Billy Buster" but I could be wrong. I think I was in Junior High at the time so it would have been in the late 60s. While in High School, my drama teacher asked me to come be in a production of "Fiddler on the Roof" in the early 70s. He was playing the part of Tevye and they needed my friend and I to play the young boys that Yenta brings to marry his two youngest daughters. I attended numerous plays and concerts in the different stages there. As a member of the Cougar Marching Band during my college days, I spent many hours practicing as a group and individually in the different spaces. The building was always a place to go and find a quite spot to ponder and reflect.
-Mark H.

After graduating from a tiny high school, I LOVED being at BYU. My Freshman year I was walking through the HFAC and heard these mens’ voices. They sounded so harmonious and blended that it blew me away. I had no idea that male singers could sound like that. While looking at them, I walked to the exit—and walked straight into one of the glass doors. I don’t know if they stopped singing because I got out of there! My future BYU grad husband swears he was in that group and saw me walk into the glass.
-Kristie H. G.

I never took any classes in HFAC but loved the building: the art work, the openness and the staircases. I remember many plays and concerts and, I believe, some classes at Education Week. Thanks for the memories.
-Rea S.

My husband and I went on our first date to the BYU Orchestra at the Harris Fine Arts Center many years ago. We had friends set us up to go on a double date with them. The orchestra was beautiful and romantic. Twenty-seven years later and we still enjoy going to the orchestra together. We have had four of our six children attend BYU and have encouraged them to enjoy the wonderful music and arts programs offered at BYU. One of our daughters will be graduating with a degree in Fine Arts from BYU in April. The HFAC has been her home away from home and we will miss the building greatly.
-Elizabeth H.

The HFAC is where my love of broadcast journalism was born. I had so many journalism and TV production classes there (oh, the videos I could share), made countless friends in those classes (some whom I still keep in touch with nearly 20 years later) and listened to many music majors singing scales and practicing for their vocal classes. The sounds of the HFAC make up just as many memories as the sights do. This is a special place and I wish I could walk its long, winding halls one last time.
-Andrea R.

I took flute lessons at the HFAC and one particular lesson made an impact on me for the rest of my life. My flute teacher asked that we practice two hours a day, which I did. Yet I didn't feel that I was as good as the other flute students. One day I was in tears because I didn't feel very proficient and my flute teacher looked at me and said, "But you are my best student!" That phrase has come to mind many times over my life. When I don't feel good enough or that my life's "performances" aren't very great, I remember that I can be the Lord's best student.
-Diane R.

I will always remember standing under the lamp under the southeast entrance next to the stairs after film lectures on Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday nights. As I leaned against the outdoor stair railing I would marvel in gratitude at the treasures and experiences I was having. I love that old building, the lectures, the faculty and that time of my life.
-Colton A.

I went to church in the HFAC for three years. We found more nooks and crannies than we could count! It was a very fun building to meet in and to explore.
-Ann P.

The greatest gift that happened to me in that building was meeting lifelong friend that changed the entire trajectory of my life! 15 years later and a few states in between us, we still talk every single day!!
-Amanda C.

I met and fell in love with my wife in the HFAC. Our ward had Sunday church services in the Pardoe and then in the Nelke for years. I would often catch a glance at her walking in a few minutes late to Sacrament insulated by her sister, cousin and roommates. I wondered for months about how to approach her and then eventually built up the courage to ask her if she would like to go get some See’s Candies after an FHE. We started dating and would sit at church together. A couple of months in, during the opening hymn in the Nelke, she opened the sacrament program and saw her name as one of the speakers. She panicked and forgot she was suppose to prepare a talk. Without hesitation, I walked up to the stage and whispered in our Bishop’s ear that I would speak instead of her. I had always had this weird idea in my mind to have a talk/lesson ready in case someone couldn’t make it or if I was asked to speak for some unlikely reason. She said my talk about the temple was fantastic and from that time forward our relationship really became something we knew was different than past ones. I had her back that day, she has had my back many times since then. I’ll miss the warm ambiance of the Pardoe and the beautiful pipe organ of the Nelke but I’ll always remember the HFAC as the place where I fell in love.
-Michael S.

My Grandpa Stott worked in the HFAC doing classical music for KBYU radio when my dad was young. My grandpa visited Provo while I was a student at BYU and took us on a tour of the building and told stories of his kids coming to find him and getting a Creamsicle backstage in a freezer they used to have there. My dad still can’t eat a creamsicle without remembering the HFAC and his dad. There’s a spiral staircase in the backstage area that he led us to and told us of how his kids loved to play there. He would take his kids to see concerts there often. My sister and I also took a University Chorale class together and got to perform in the de Jong Concert Hall! It is one of my favorite buildings on campus and I loved coming to hear student recitals, watch plays and find a place to sit and study. I got to watch "Fiddler on the Roof" there recently, one of my Grandpa Stott’s favorites. He passed away two years ago and the HFAC still carries many of his memories for us. I’ll miss the HFAC! -LaLoni Heath

I spent a good part of my BYU experience in the basement of the HFAC. The KBYU studios were my home away from home - both for classes and for employment. Many a meal was obtained from the vending machine outside the studio doors! Most of my Comms classes were in the labyrinth of the HFAC and many a study hour was spent on a bench overlooking stairways that rival Hogwarts. It was an amazing building that held almost all of my treasured college memories and I’m so sad to see it go!
-Patti H.

My HFAC memories truly overflow. I was in the first class of HFAC students, entering BYU in Fall 1964. Living in Emma Lucy Gates Bowen Hall, just across the street to the east and staying there several years because of its perfect proximity to all my classrooms and rehearsal spaces, I walked down "the tunnel" countless times to take the elevator next to classroom B-201 (the slowest elevator on campus!) up to the department office, my various other classrooms or into the theaters and the main gallery. My fellow students and I quickly discovered that the huge structural beams crossing over our heads created wonderful nooks and crannies for studying, running lines, eating lunch and catching badly needed cat-naps. However, administration soon found out that our clambering around "up there" constituted a very real risk of personal injury and, all too soon, our little retreats were declared off limits. Sigh. My memories of many, many productions are still vivid and evocative - Barrie Stavis's "Coat of Many Colors" and "Lamp at Midnight;" Max Golightly's powerful production of "The Little Foxes;" a superb "Carmen," starring Ariel Bybee, before her career as a renowned opera professional; the hemispheric premiere of Ralph Vaughn Williams' "The Pilgrim's Progress" - and countless other teaching, learning, expanding experiences, all within the halls of my beloved Harris Fine Arts Center. And my teachers - giants in art and spirit: Max, already mentioned, Jean Jenkins, Marion Bentley, Ivan Crosland, LaelWoodbury...I am in your debt. Thank you for adding so indelibly to my life!
-Frances S.

Members of our ward loved to play Sardines in the HFAC. That's the most intense hide-and-seeking I've ever participated in!
- Sean W.

During my time at BYU, I viewed many plays, concerts, and events at the HFAC. However, my best memory was walking on stage in the spring of 1970 to introduce a concert sponsored by our stake mutual. It was a humbling experience to walk on the stage where so many I admired and respected had performed.
- Rocky R.

I fondly remember roaming the halls with a few of my little boys, in the 90’s, with hand in tow, on my way to and from class. And enjoying all of the various exhibits scattered throughout the building as we went!
- Susie S.

The HFAC was brand new when I started school at BYU in 1965. I was totally enamored with the place. I was in several plays, three choruses and even took an art class (disaster). I often would haunt the practice rooms in the basement, sometimes to rehearse. Often, because I was lost and didn't care that I was lost, I listened to the organ, the opera singers rehearse, and the other drama students (I was one at the time). I clearly remember Ariel Bybee hit the high notes with such clarity and expression it made my heart leap. Professors like Charles Metten, and Lael Woodbury, LaVar Bateman, and conductors/professors like Kurt Weingarten, and Ralph Woodward, to name just a very few. It doesn't seem possible to me that this magnificent building is old and out of date enough to tear down. Time is relentless. Farewell, my old friend.
- Bradley A.

I made so many great memories in the Harris FA Center. I played guitar in Synthesis when we hosted Michael Brecker around 1990. It was so amazing to be on stage with such a musical genius. And I pretty much lived in the recording studio writing and recording music with so many great friends like J Bateman, Tony Mortimer (RIP), Dave Mohlman, Jeff Fairbanks and Joel Wiseman. The experiences I had in that studio, along with great mentoring from teachers like Ron Simpson and Jon Holloman propelled my career in Los Angeles as a music producer. So many incredible memories. So sad to see that great building go.
- Trey V.

I have such fond memories of the Harris Fine Arts Center. I was a freshman drama major in the fall of 1965. The Harris Fine Arts Center was brand new. I was in several performances including Enemy of the People, Aida, a Mask Club play called Brother Wolf, and the first play in the theater-in-the-round called Only There Were Two directed by Dr. Charles Metten. I also had a German class and a theatre dance class there. But most wonderful of all were the friends I made taking part in those activities and the very talented professors who worked with us.
- Paul S.

One time I was down in the breezeway cargo loading basement area sitting on the floor eating some teriyaki chicken and broccoli that I had warmed up in that old microwave that was down there. My girlfriend, who I am now married to, was always practicing down there. Anyway, this full sized black sedan suddenly came down the ramp, and I thought it was some kind of government car. It was pretty tight for a full sized car down there. It literally almost ran over me, but then it came to a stop right next to me. The back door opened and President Monson got out and smiled and apologized for almost hitting me with the door. Of course I was like, “no problem!” because I was just excited to be in the presence of the one and only Thomas S. Monson. Then he walked up the stairs to some performance that was going on. I have always wondered why his driver decided to pull up right on top of me, but it gave me a fresh story to tell my friends.
- Mark L.

I studied violin with Dr Percy Kalt and learned so much wonderful literature. It helped me go on to get my Masters in Music at Juilliard. I hope the new building is just as good as the old one.
- Virginia L.

I took Art History. Loved walking around the HFAC and reviewing art there. Many memories of plays and other performances. Sad it is gone!
- Janay J.

I was a Theatre Arts Major and have SO many fond memories of practicing and performing in the HFAC. I would plan my trip to campus each morning so that when the national anthem was played, I would be at the northeast doors of the HFAC, and I timed my walk through the HFAC to exit the southwest doors as soon as the national anthem was finished. It was the only way I could stay warm through those cold winter walks across campus! - Tony P.

I spent many hours at the HFAC for Art History and art classes. I also worked at the slide library and then the Visual Arts office. I loved relaxing there, browsing current art that was displayed and hearing the occasional instruments or singing wafting up from the lower floors. The HFAC was like my second home while at BYU!
-Julie K. R.

During my freshman year at BYU, my roommates and I would take dates to the HFAC and play hide and seek. One time my date and I ended up hiding above a play that was currently in progress. I don't know how we got up there, but it was pretty cool to watch (and not be found). I loved the HFAC.
-E. B. Nelson

I was taking private voice lessons at BYU and I went to the HFAC for my first session. I had been in the HFAC many times, but had never been to the part where the voice lessons would be. I searched for an hour and, 30 minutes late, frantically emailed my professor that I could not find it. I came to find out that to get to the room, I had to leave the HFAC and then go through an obscure side door to get to the room. There is no architecture quite like the HFAC.
- McKinzi S.

The setting: A faculty office hallway in the HFAC, Freshman Orientation week, September 1968. Because I had declared a major in Mass Communications, I had a scheduled appointment with my faculty advisor, M. Dallas Burnett. I rounded the corner to see one young man standing halfway down the hall and I thought, "There you are." I was 17, shy, and had no clue what to think of that. He grinned as he watched me walk toward him. He too was waiting for Brother Burnett. We talked. He asked for my contact info and I gave it. He promptly lost it, but because we were both in journalism, we reconnected through the Daily Universe later that year. We've now been married for 52.
- Susan A.

The corn dog exhibit of 2019 made the HFAC smell like corn dogs for weeks. The best part was when a friend sent me this message: “I’m just sitting here doing homework and I look up just in time to see somebody walk by and pick up a corndog, take a bite and then walk around to the front of the exhibit and read “PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE ART.”
-Amanda M.

I was in the upper level of the de Jong Concert Hall for an event and I knew my parents were going to be there as well. My mom has this uncanny ability of being able to hear someone go chut chut - a South American sound made to get someone's attention from anywhere. It's not a very loud sound, and the hall was packed. I saw her come in down below, so I made the sound, which she heard. She immediately looked up from the lower level right at me and waved. I remember many plays, music concerts, forums and other events held there.
- Kathie M.

I have a lot of fond memories in the HFAC because I, like every other fine arts major, practically lived there. I have one memory that particularly stands out above the rest. My husband and I met in Acting 123 which met in room B201 in the HFAC. We got to know each other because we were paired together in an acting exercise and we started dating shortly after. I actually remember the moment I first saw him because he walked in late to class on the first day of the semester. My husband likes to say that I was just blown away by his good looks, but really it was just because it was such a small class! We visited Utah this past summer and we were able to go and say goodbye to the classroom where our life together began! '
-Marissa L.

One of my favorite memories of the HFAC was when there was a retro gaming exhibition in the main lobby. After class, I went with some friends and had a blast playing some video gaming favorites from years gone by - the exhibit even featured an original SEGA and an Atari, if I recall correctly. I remember having the chance to play Pong on a console which I had never done before. I enjoyed learning about the history of gaming and making new friends with old games. -Alexandra S.

My first experience in the HFAC was as a freshman. I had the unique opportunity to be in the play, The Garden as one of the singing angels. It wasn’t something I was seeking out, but I took the opportunity and it was a great experience and a fun memory. I will always remember that experience and having fun playing games with friends throughout the building.
- Shirley B.

In Fall 1969 a new girl moved into the apartment where our FHE group met. We got to know each other fairly well and started dating in January. Our first date was a walk on campus, focused on the HFAC galleries. Our third date was dinner at the popular Oak Crest Inn. Then we got some of her music and found a practice room in the HFAC, where I played and she, standing directly behind me, sang her favorites—"Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes," and more. As I could not see her, all my attention was enthralled by her fine, sweet soprano. By the time we got to "Red Sails in the Sunset" and "we marry tomorrow, and he goes sailing no more," I was hers and she was mine. Fifty years later, we are still making music together.
- Randall L.

"Meet you at the slab," is what my wife-to-be and I would say, referring to the wood bench around the staircase in the HFAC where we first met.
-Brook R.