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Oklahoma State University Celebrates Groundbreaking For New Music School

Dignitaries, donors and student performers gathered Saturday for a ceremony launching of the construction phase for the new Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music. The new building will be located on the south side of the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, which is currently under construction and slated to open in October 2019.

The new 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.

“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.”

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. Noah Mennenga, 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.

Hear Kelly Burley's conversation with Dr. Howard Potter.

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.

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

Kelly Burley served as KOSU Director from September 2007 to May 2019. In 2007, Burley returned to public radio after more than four years as Associate State Director for AARP Oklahoma. Burley first joined KOSU in 1990, first as a reporter, then news director and eventually program director. During that time, he won three Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association, the National Journalism Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation, and two national awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc. Kelly lives in Stillwater with his wife, Lisa. He has two grown children, Clint and Kara.
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