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SMTD Receives $2.5 Million Gift for Music Technology Innovation Suite


The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) has received a gift from William K. and Delores S. Brehm to provide for a Music Technology Innovation Suite. It will be housed in the new wing of the Earl V. Moore Building, named the William K. and Delores S. Brehm Pavilion, which is currently under construction. The Technology Suite will also be supported by a $500,000 contribution from the Office of the Provost.

The $2.5 million gift is in addition to the $8 million catalyst gift that the Brehms made in 2013 to launch the $24.83 million project, providing for a major expansion and renovation of the 50-year-old Eero Saarinen-designed building.

The new gift will create a multi-functional technology center designed to provide students with the technological literacy and skills required to become fully creative, entrepreneurial, and inventive 21st century artists.

The Music Technology Innovation Suite will contain:

  • Music Technology Lab (MTL), providing space for instruction in electronic music composition and performance, developing music and sound for film, and for independent student project work
  • Technology Innovation Space, to be known as M-PIRE (Multimedia Performance Innovation and Research Environment), to provide a flexible, immersive, multimedia environment for innovative uses of technology in performing arts, including space for interdisciplinary collaborations, installations, video recording, performance, and rehearsal
  • Control Room/surround-sound space, for the teaching and practice of sound recording  
  • Workshop, for prototyping and developing interactive, electronic music devices
  • Editing Labs, providing rooms for editing and mixing audio and video  
  • Machine Room, providing comprehensive audio/video connectivity between the Tech Suite and other spaces in the Moore Building

Occupying the lower level of the new Brehm Pavilion in the Moore Building, the Technology Suite will provide a critically needed component to the School. It will complement the extensive upgrades being made to the building, including many new spaces, such as a large rehearsal hall; classrooms, studios, and faculty offices; a percussion and jazz percussion suite; a state-of-art lecture hall; and a welcoming atrium lobby.

"We are profoundly grateful to Bill and Dee Brehm for their incredible generosity and for their expansive and forward-thinking vision in helping us create the best possible facility for the study of the performing arts in the 21st century," said Christopher Kendall, SMTD dean. "This important gift will have a major impact on students from a spectrum of disciplines, preparing them for dynamic performing arts careers in which they harness technology and maximize their entrepreneurial skills."

The Brehms are significant, long-time donors to the University of Michigan. Among their many gifts, they created the Brehm Scholars Program, providing full resident tuition, four-year undergraduate scholarships for students from Fordson High School, Mr. Brehm's alma mater in Dearborn, Michigan. They later added additional support for Brehm Scholars to attend four years at the U-M Medical School. In 2004, with a $44 million gift to the U-M Health System, the Brehms created the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research, to accelerate the pace of finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. In addition, at SMTD the Brehms have funded an endowed scholarship for graduate choral conductors, the Brehm Prize in Choral Composition, and a fund to commission new works for the Chamber Choir.

The new Brehm gift is part of the University of Michigan's comprehensive Victors for Michigan campaign, which includes all schools and units on all three U-M campuses. It seeks to raise $4 billion for student support, engaged learning, and bold ideas. SMTD's goal for the campaign is $90 million, 75 percent of which has been raised to date.


past news

September 2017
March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

Students Present "Wall-to-Wall Theatre Festival" 03/27/2014

First-Ever SMTD Chamber Music Competition Launches April 5 03/27/2014

Doctoral Fellow Named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year 03/26/2014

Theatre Student Lands Major TV Role 03/25/2014

Elizabeth Batiuk (ethnomusicology) has been chosen as a fellow at the Sweetland/Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute for spring 2014 and James McNally (ethnomusicology) received a summer and academic year FLAS for the study of Portuguese.    03/17/2014

Musicology graduate student Elizabeth McLain has been awarded a prestigious Lurcy Fellowship for research in France during the 2014-2015 academic year.   03/14/2014

December 2013

SMTD students Zoe Kumagai, Stephanie Aboukasm, and Adam DesJardins are among students profiled in an LSA article about the "Michigan in Washington" program, in which students intern at various Washington, DC organizations and businesses, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.    12/10/2013

October 2013
August 2013

Evan Zegiel, a sophomore who studies with Fritz Kaenzig, was the First Place winner in the Tuba Student division of the 2013 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium & Tuba Festival.     08/21/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

November 2011
August 2011
June 2011
Current Student News
DMA Piano Students Perform with Ann Arbor Symphony more
2018 SMTD Concerto Competition Winners Announcedmore

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower