CWU News

CWU's Main Concert Hall Named to Honor Wayne S. Hertz

Few figures in Central Washington University history have played as important a role in the school’s development as a leader in music education as the late Wayne S. Hertz, who taught at Central from 1938-1974.


It’s why Hertz Hall was named for him when it opened in 1964 and why the university last week announced it would name the 600-seat main concert hall in the Jerilyn S. McIntyre Music Building after the long-time educator, who died in 1996.


The honor was announced Friday night (November 30) during the Hertz Hall Holiday Concert, which celebrated not only Hertz and the 125th anniversary of the university’s music department, but also served as a farewell concert in Hertz Hall, which is scheduled to be demolished in 2019.


“We wanted to continue to recognize Wayne Hertz’s amazing career at Central as an educator and as a leader,” noted CWU President James L. Gaudino. “It seemed appropriate that the main concert hall in the McIntyre Music Building, which hosts our main musical performances, be named in his honor.”


Scott Peterson, who leads the CWU Men’s Choir and received the first master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Central, described Hertz as a “giant in music education.” Peterson, who wrote, “Advent Hymn,” which will debut at the Hertz Hall Holiday Concert, said Hertz remains an inspiration to anyone who studies music at CWU.


“He made significant contributions to Central’s music programs over the years and really put Central’s music department in the forefront of music education in the region,” Peterson said. “He is why, even today, when many students think about obtaining a music education, they immediately think of Central.”


Hertz’s daughters, Barbara Wallgren and Sandy Young, said they were extremely pleased their father would continue to be remembered for his years of service at Central.


“Our father thoroughly enjoyed teaching and working with so many gifted and talented students and faculty at Central during his 36 years there, we know he would be humbled and gratified by this honor,” the two noted.

Hertz was born on June 7, 1908 in Bonfield, Illinois. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a BS in Music in 1932, he obtained his Masters of Music degree from Northwestern University in 1934, and Doctor of Music degree from New York University in 1959.

He began teaching at Central Washington College of Education (as CWU was known at the time) in 1938 and soon became a prominent figure in music education throughout the Pacific Northwest. He served as chair of the music department during his entire tenure at Central.


When he retired in 1974, he was honored by Washington Governor Daniel J. Evans with a proclamation declaring May 25, 1974 as “Wayne Hertz Day.”


Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,