The Arts Center
The Paul Mellon Arts Center, dedicated in 1972, was designed by award-wining architect I.M. Pei, who is perhaps best known for the East Wing of the National Gallery, for which the Arts Center served as a prototype, and for the pyramid-shaped entry to the Louvre Museum in Paris. The building was a gift of benefactor Paul Mellon '25.
The eastern portion, or triangle wing, of the Paul Mellon Arts Center provides gallery space and 5 floors of fine arts studios, music practice rooms and a 100-seat two-story Recital Hall.
The building's art studios were designed with natural light for painting, drawing, mixed media, weaving, computer graphics, architectural design and with two balconies over the gallery providing additional flexible space for the creative process.
The Paul Mellon Arts Center Galleries include a 90-foot-long uninterrupted arc of wall space in the theater lobby and a larger gallery across the courtyard that offers ample space for exhibiting the work of students, alumni, and professional local and visiting artists.
Throughout the school year there are multiple different exhibitions of work, granting the school and surrounding community the chance to see both new and emerging art as well as work from established artists. The opening receptions allow the opportunity to hear from the exhibiting artists about their personal process and what inspires them to make art.
The western wing of the Paul Mellon Arts Center houses the main stage theater with seating for 770, scene shop, costume shop and Green Room. The two sides of the building are connected underground through the Chase Bear Experimental Theater. Extensive renovations are planned for this portion of the complex. The Paul Mellon Arts Center's main stage theater, to be named the William T. Little '49 and Frances A. Little Theater in recognition of the donors' lifetime giving to the School, will be completely reconfigured and outfitted for theater arts. Renovation plans include refurbishment of the building's major components, including the lobby; the main theater and audience seating; the experimental theater; scenery shop, and Katz Family Green Room. In addition to upgrading the space for theatergoers with physical disabilities, the Little Theater will also provide access for the hearing impaired including assisted listening devices.
Choate Rosemary Hall dedicated Ann and George Colony Hall in October 2019. The new 51,761-square-foot building is an academic and programmatic complement to the Paul Mellon Arts Center. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Colony Hall includes a performance hall that can accommodate both large and small audiences.
Named in honor of Trustee George F. Colony '72, and his wife, Ann, Colony Hall provides an acoustical setting suitable for the spoken word or amplified music, as well as a more reverberant sound for symphonic music. The west side of the auditorium includes a music classroom wing with a Recital Hall seating up to 100 people, providing rehearsal space for Choate's major music ensembles. Surrounding the Recital Hall are additional practice rooms, faculty offices, a percussion studio and a Green Room for performers. The backstage area contains musical instrument lockers and storage for music.
Open stairs in the lobby lead both to the auditorium's balcony and our new dance studio, with changing rooms and an office for the dance program. In addition to the Dance Program, Colony Hall is home to 7 music courses, including Music Literacy and Composition, Music Theory and Harmony, as well as Symphony Orchestra, and music and instrumental ensembles.