Some very exciting news from the University of Evansville, as they announce a plan to not only keep the music department, but to also make changes that will benefit UE students and the Evansville community. You might remember that the music department was on the verge of being eliminated as part of a ‘realignment plan’ in late 2020. But now, thanks to the efforts of Department of Music co-chairs, faculty, Friends of UE Music, community partnerships, private donors, trustees, and the administration, the music department is here to stay.
University President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz says,
We are delighted that our faculty and the community came together to preserve our rich tradition of music at UE. They not only have made the department financially viable, but also have reimagined our program in a way that will benefit our campus and local community.
Keeping the music department alive is exciting enough on its own, but the things they have planned for the future are even better. These new initiatives include:
- "Retention of all five music degrees: Music Education, Music Therapy, Music Management, Music Performance, and Music - General"
- "Creation of the University of Evansville Music Conservatory, which will benefit UE students, provide private lessons to preschool through 12th grade students and adults, continue to offer Suzuki violin instruction, begin to offer dual enrollment courses in music, and strengthen the University's enrollment pipeline"
- "Implementation of new offerings, including a music therapy clinic and a redesigned summer music camp which will increase revenue, enhance community engagement, and strengthen recruiting opportunities"
- "Full renovation of Wheeler Concert Hall and the Krannert Hall of Art and Music lobby"
- "Increased fundraising from Friends of UE Music"
UE students and faculty aren’t the only ones excited about the big news – other local musicians, like the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra are thrilled. EPO executive director Kimberly Bredemeier says, "The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra maintains a strong and important relationship with the UE Department of Music and our community. This will ensure continued collaboration for many years to come."
So, how does a department that was on the verge of being cut due to budget issues, not only stay alive, but manage to create several new opportunities? According to the university, this new plan will “make the Department of Music financially sustainable by reducing operating costs through planned retirements, establishing new revenue streams, increasing fundraising commitments, and focusing on recruiting and retaining new students.” Read the rest of the announcement here.