Denfeld History

Denfeld Auditorium

The Denfeld Auditorium was planned for community use when the school was built in 1926. It was placed on the corner of the school, so community members could attend shows without passing through the school. The auditorium cost about one-fifth of the $1.25 million overall construction cost of Denfeld.

Planned on scientific lines, with a bowled floor, the auditorium seats about 1,900. The stage can accommodate 200.

The Denfeld Municipal Pipe Organ was purchase shortly after the school and its auditorium opened. The auditorium was treated with sound absorbing materials to improve its acoustics.

Above the auditorium’s stage are two statues of women. One is holding a harp, the other a tablet with the Latin word “Historia” on it. The harp represents the music that is played in the auditorium; the tablet represents the historical significance of events held there.

Famous personalities who have taken the stage of the Denfeld auditorium include Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ed Sullivan, Andy Griffith and John Phillips Souza.

Some significant dates in the auditorium’s history are:

June 14, 1927
The Denfeld Municipal Pipe Organ is officially dedicated by St. Paul’s Hugo Goodwin in front of a packed house.

Sept. 22, 1954
Vice President Richard Nixon speaks on the topic “Against Socialism, For Capitalism, the Seriousness of the Communist Threat.”

Nov. 2, 1958
Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians peform "Hi-Fi Holiday."

Feb. 14, 1959
Johnny Cash headlines an "Ole Opry" show that includes Porter Wagoner and the Wagonmasters, Donna Darlene, comic Pete Stamper of the Red Foley Show, Lew Lotto and Johnny Jay and the Jaybirds.

Nov. 3, 1963
Nat King Cole performs for nearly three hours to a capacity crowd.

Feb. 21, 1965
Singer Johnny Mathis performs in a variety show.

Sept. 17, 1965
The Denfeld Auditorium appears in an advertisement for Northern Natural Gas Company in Time magazine.

Oct. 17, 2000
Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura speaks to the student body about success.

March 17, 2007
More than 1,000 alumni, students and community members attend a grand reopening concert to celebrate a $1.2 million restoration of the auditorium.

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