The School of Music is housed in Centennial East, along with Kemp Recital Hall, and Allen and Westhoff Theatres.
Centennial East and West opened as one complex in 1959. It was named for the University's Centennial Celebration in 1957. The name Centennial was suggested by Clarence Ropp.
The Kemp Recital Hall was named after Benny B. Kemp. Kemp was a piano instructor at Illinois State and an assistant to the department chairman and coordinator of Recital Programs. He had been at the University since 1963.
Allen Theatre was named after Mabel Clare Allen. Westhoff Theatre was named after Frank W. Westhoff. He taught at the University from 1900-38 and served as first head of the Music Department.
The building was extensively damaged in a fire on November 28, 1962. The restoration cost was much less than originally planned because of the swiftness of University employees who cleaned up the building the day of the fire.
Centennial East got an addition in 1964; the cornerstone in East contains items from the Old Main time capsule.