Dana Musical Institute


Dana Musical Institute


William Henry Dana, son of Junius and Martha Porter Dana, was born June 10, 1846. He served in the 171st and 196th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, and took up the study of music when he returned to civilian life. Dana graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London after studying at the Hoch Schule and at the Kullak Conservatory of Berlin. W.H. founded the Dana Musical Institute in October of 1869 against the wishes of his father who later relented and invested in his school.

The Institute was originally located on the third floor of the Second National Bank building on the southwest corner of Market and Main Streets in downtown Warren, but in July of 1870 the school moved to larger quarters in a former hotel on the northwest corner of Park Avenue and High Street (now the Stone building). Martha Dana, the mother of W.H., served as secretary and treasurer of the Institute. Junius Cottage was added on Park Avenue in 1888 as the dormitory for male students, and Martha Potter Hall, Dana’s residence for women, was erected in 1901. In 1912 the Institute made the move to the recently erected Dana Hall of 237 North Park Ave where it remained until 1941. The Dana Hotel of 255 North Park, a dormitory in use until 1941, was damaged by fire on July 19, 1974 and razed in 1976.

In addition to founding the Institute, W.H. Dana acted as the American editor of the Encyclopedia of Music and founded the Music Teacher’s National Association. He died on February 17, 1916, and his funeral, which was open to the public, was held at Dana Hall. W.H. was succeeded as President of the institute by his son Lynn. B. Dana. Lynn entered his father’s school as a student in 1897, became a pianist and educator, and later served as Vice President of the Institute. Lynn died in 1941, not long after arrangements had been made for the Institute to become part of Youngstown College as the Dana School of Music, and to be moved to the Charles S. Thomas mansion on Wick Avenue. Today Dana is located in Bliss Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University.

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