The Sonoma State University Bookstore is more than just a bookstore. It is part of the fabric of the university, supporting SSU students, faculty and now, local community visitors to the new Donald and Maureen Green Music Center.
The concert hall, first envisioned as a music venue specifically for unamplified choral and instrumental performances, has grown to include music education classrooms and rehearsal halls for students, offices for faculty, a restaurant and hospitality wing, and an amphitheater and lawn space to accommodate up to 10,000 concert goers.
Sonoma State University Bookstore Manager Steve Higgenbotham praised the new facility for both its design and the talent it draws. “This is a world-class facility,” he says. “The acoustics are incredible. Only a few concert halls like this exist in the country, so we’re especially proud that Sonoma State is home to the Green Music Center – and that we can support the fantastic events that take place there.”
Since opening in September 2012, the center has played host to such notables as Kennedy Center Honoree Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Lang Lang, Grammy Award-winning bluegrass artist Alison Krauss, comedienne Bill Maher, and New York Times best-selling authors Cornell West and Van Jones, to name a few.
“We’re thrilled that we can support so many of these wonderful events,” Higgenbotham says. “Many of the artists who perform here have also written books, so that is something we can easily provide to the public. We also offer Green Music Center and Sonoma State apparel and merchandise at each event.”
Higgenbotham praised his team for their knowledge of the university and involvement on campus. “I have a great staff that is really committed to this university. We’re all very active on campus, so we’re always happy to help that student who is trying to figure out the best textbook option for him, or the faculty member who needs to place an order, or the visitor who is attending a performance at the Green Music Center for the first time,” he adds.
The Sonoma State University Bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble College for nearly seven years, believes connecting with the University is the most important role it can play on campus.
“We truly enjoy supporting the new events at the Green Music Center, hosting book signings, and providing academic support to our students and faculty,” Higgenbotham enthused, “but we love helping incoming freshmen and their parents through the school’s orientation. This is usually their first experience with college, so it feels really good to answer questions, get them off to a great start with textbooks and Sonoma State gear, and let them know that we’re a resource for them – not just that day, but throughout their years at Sonoma State.”