Message from the Dean


"With the Moore renovation and expansion, we are once again leading in the inevitable changes that come with progress and success."


Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Earl V. Moore Building, designed by the renowned modernist Eero Saarinen. The new building provided what was then a state-of-the-art facility for music studies after decades of dispersion over the U-M campus. Now, with the arrival of the Moore Building’s golden anniversary, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance will mark the occasion in the best way: with groundbreaking for a major renovation and addition that will provide a critically important expansion of space for teaching, practice, rehearsal, and performance, along with updates that will make Moore a modern gem once again.


In this issue of Michigan Muse, we are delighted to introduce you to this important project and to the wonderful benefactors who are helping to make it possible: Bill and Dee Brehm, Professor Emeritus Glenn Watkins and others. Their generous gifts will allow us to provide for the music departments what the Walgreen Drama Center did for theatre & drama and musical theatre: an ideal environment in which students and faculty can excel.


It is only with great facilities such as these that we are fully able to foster the scintillating talent at work within them. In our field in particular, the space in which we work and create is a full participant in the sights and sounds we produce, entirely the equivalent of the instruments we play. To reach the highest level of performance and scholarship for our students, we need ideal teaching facilities for all our disciplines—music, theatre, and dance.


As the University of Michigan approaches its 2017 bicentennial, we are reminded of both our great legacy and our future challenges. Since its founding in 1880, the School has steadily increased in size, stature and disciplinary diversity to become one of the finest performing arts schools in the nation. What started as a school of music has expanded to include theatre and dance as well as musical theatre, performing arts technology, jazz, and ethnomusicology. This growth has been accompanied by unprecedented changes in the way music and art is created, consumed, and disseminated, thanks to the technical and cultural revolutions of the recent period. At the same time, innovation, social engagement, and entrepreneurship have become critically important to SMTD students’ education, providing them with a wealth of means for contributing to and achieving success in today’s artistic landscape.


With the Moore renovation and expansion, we are once again leading in the inevitable changes that come with progress and success. It is an exciting time to renew our dedication to excellence, to reimagine the future of our field, and to reinvest in the promise of our students and faculty.


Christopher Kendall, Dean

Paul Boylan Collegiate Professor of Music

School of Music, Theatre & Dance