Located on Old Campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Shryock Auditorium is one of the finest performing arts centers in the region.
Constructed in 1917, the building was designed with strong Roman architectural influences in Neoclassicism by Chicago architect J.B. Dibelka. The auditorium was dedicated to the university's fifth president, Henry William Shryock who served the university from 1913 to 1935. On a sad note, Henry Shryock passed away suddenly one day in his office inside Shryock Auditorium just prior to a convocation event.
The shell and scroll motif surrounding the stage was created by an individually hand-cast method. The slight difference in every shell and scroll cast lend to the unique character of the interior design, indeed, to the grand atmosphere of the Auditorium itself. The majestic Reuter pipe organ that sits in the north balcony was commissioned in 1970, along with the remodeling of the Auditorium. Built by the Reuter Organ Company of Lawrence, Kansas, the instrument contains fifty stops with fifty-eight ranks of pipes, totaling more than 3,000 pipes. The organ weighs more than nine tons and took two years to build.
In 1970, the Auditorium underwent extensive remodeling. Upon reopening, guests were pleased and surprised to find that a new decor of grand opera splendor, while the original architectural integrity of the building was retained.
As the largest auditorium in Southern Illinois, seating 1,214, the main floor and horseshoe-shaped balcony create an intimate space between the artists and the audience. Shryock Auditorium is equipped to handle almost any type of event -- international touring productions, acoustic or sound reinforced music groups, meetings, and large conferences.
Shryock Auditorium is often home to Southern Lights Entertainment events which feature national and international touring performers and events. The Auditorium is also used by other campus organizations such as the School of Music and the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra.
Senator Paul Simon announced his presidential campaign from the Shryock stage. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, B.B. King, Dana Carvey, and Arlo Guthrie are among the many stellar performers which have appeared at Shryock over the years.