SMTD Receives $1 Million Gift for Pianos From William and Delores Brehm

William K. and Delores S. Brehm have donated $1 million to the University of Michigan School of Music. Theatre & Dance (SMTD) to purchase pianos for the practice rooms, rehearsal halls, and recital venues  in the School’s newly expanded and renovated Earl V. Moore Building.

The Brehms, known as Bill and Dee, were lead donors for the renovation project, donating $10.8 million of the total $29.5 million undertaking, which adds the William K. and Delores S Brehm Pavilion. The new wing houses Hankinson Rehearsal Hall for large ensembles, a room that replicates the footprint of the Hill Auditorium stage and is named for Bill Brehm’s maternal family; and Soderquist Atrium, named for Dee’s family. Several renovated practice rooms will also be named for Brehm family members and friends.

Longtime supporters to the University of Michigan, the Brehms have donated more than $60 million over the years, including support for a major addition to the Kellogg Eye Center; the founding of the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research & Analysis; and the establishment of the Brehm Scholars Program. Since 2011, they have become ardent supporters at SMTD.

In addition to their lead support for the Moore renovation and the donation for pianos, the Brehms made a recent gift to support the new Brehm Prize in Instrumental Composition for SMTD students. The new prize complements an existing competition, the Brehm Prize in Choral Composition, which has been awarded for the last four years.

The Moore Building renovation has just concluded; the building will reopen for the return of students for the 2015-16 academic year. In total, the project adds 34,000 gross square feet to the historic Eero Saarinen-designed building, equipping it with the space and technology necessary to accommodate the exponential growth of the music program since the building opened in 1964.

A musical open house, free and open to the public, will take place at the building on Friday, September 18 from 7 pm to 9 pm to introduce the community to the new spaces. Performances, lectures, rehearsals and more will be featured throughout the renovated facility.