DANVILLE, KY - Centre College has named and dedicated a music recital hall in honor of Audrey Gillespie, a prominent figure in the music industry and the widow of a Centre graduate. The recital hall is located in Centre's Norton Center for the Arts in the Grant Hall portion of the building.
Gillespie was the guest of honor at a dedication ceremony and recital in the new hall on March 28. The program featured performances by outstanding Centre music students including vocalist Korin Kormick and pianist Erin Morfitt, as well the Centre Trumpets, Centre Flutes and the Centre chamber singers.
Music professor and trumpet virtuoso Vince DiMartino led a small jazz band that presented three of the best-known songs written by Gillespie's father-in-law, Haven Gillespie. Those three, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Breezin' along with the Breeze" and "You Go to My Head." were among hundreds that the senior Gillespie wrote during a long and successful career.
Audrey Gillespie is a native of Cincinnati, where she graduated from Finneytown High School. Her husband, Haven Lamont Gillespie, was a native of Northern Kentucky and graduated from Centre in 1933. The Gillespie family moved west to be closer to the heart of the entertainment industry but retained strong ties to Kentucky. Haven established a successful music publishing business in California, where he died in 1990. Audrey managed the business after his death and is active in a number of organizations related to the entertainment industry.
Gillespie provided a donation to Centre that created the Gillespie Fountain and Plaza in the front of the Norton Center for the Arts. She funded a massive renovation of an existing music rehearsal room, which led to the creation of the Gillespie Recital Hall.
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