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Oklahoma State University celebrates groundbreaking for the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music rendering

The new building for the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music is expected to have a long-term impact on Oklahoma State University’s music programs and its reputation for the arts. On Saturday, dignitaries, donors and award-winning student performers celebrated the facility’s groundbreaking.

“This momentum focusing on the arts is building to a crescendo, and the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music is a lead voice in this substantial transformation,” said President Burns Hargis. “In just a short time, the Greenwood School of Music and The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts will be operational. The experiences offered through these facilities to our students, faculty and community will be nothing short of amazing." 

Stillwater philanthropists Michael and Anne Greenwood announced nearly a year ago that they had made a lead gift for the facility, which will be connected to The McKnight Center.

“Great universities have wonderful music and performing arts programs, and we are pleased that this new building will allow OSU’s music-education programs to progress at a more rapid rate and showcase the extraordinary talents of the students and faculty,” the Greenwoods said. “The building will be a game-changer.”

The Greenwood School of Music will house a variety of music laboratories, classrooms, rehearsal spaces and teaching studios equipped with the latest technology for high-level studio production, offering a premier teaching and learning experience for the more than 2,100 students that participate in various music programs at Oklahoma State.

The new facility is especially meaningful for students and faculty, who are known for their talents. NoahMennenga, a senior from Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, who won the highest national and international trumpet performance competitions this summer, spoke at the groundbreaking.  

“It will be great to have new, additional spaces to keep up with the current demand that is being felt by everyone in the growing music school,” Mennenga said. “It will also provide us with a fantastic concert hall to perform in, and future students will be able to take advantage of the state-of-the-art acoustics.”

The university has raised more than two-thirds of its $15 million fundraising goal for the project with under $5 million in private support still needed.

Dr. Howard Potter, head of the Greenwood School of Music, said he is preparing for some growth in a variety of areas, including Music Education, the Community Music School, Vocal and Jazz Performance, and the Music Industry degree because of the Greenwoods’ gift and the opening of The McKnight Center.

He expects an influx of applications from around the world after the buildings open, demonstrating the distinctive offerings and masterclass opportunities from world-renowned visiting artists, including the internationally celebrated New York Philharmonic — slated to headline the opening of The McKnight Center in fall 2019.

“Having a beautiful new, state-of-the-art music building named in honor of Michael and Anne Greenwood brings unimaginable excitement to this already beautiful campus,” Potter said. “For the first time in OSU history, the performing arts facilities will match its superb programming.” 

In addition to the Greenwoods, Hargis also recognized the Edward and Helen Bartlett Foundation, Jonathan Drummond, Dick and Malinda Fischer, Inasmuch Foundation, John and Caroline Linehan and other donors who made early commitments to the Greenwood School of Music.

“Both the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music and The McKnight Center will provide us the catalyst to build a nationally recognized center for music education over the next decade,” Hargis said.

The Greenwoods serve on numerous boards and committees for OSU and in various volunteer and leadership capacities for colleges across the university. They support numerous programs at OSU with their financial contributions, have endowed several academic scholarships and have also named the Anne Morris Greenwood Reading Room in the Edmon Low Library, the Michael and Anne Greenwood Distance Learning Center in the Spears School of Business, and the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center. These lifetime members of the OSU Alumni Association were inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 2015.

For more information about Oklahoma State’s music programs, visit music.okstate.edu. To learn more about The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, visit McKnightCenter.org.

View more photos here.

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