Today Natalie L. Haslam, a philanthropist and ardent UT supporter, helped dedicate the new music building named in her honor—a state-of-the art addition to the campus that will showcase UT’s talented musicians and world-class faculty.
Haslam and her husband, Jim Haslam, joined Governor Bill Haslam, UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek, UT President Joe DiPietro, US Senator Lamar Alexander, other state and local officials, and alumni to celebrate the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, the new home of the UT School of Music.
“We are all amazed by this beautiful building,” said Natalie Haslam. “It’s truly incredible. It’s the answer to a long dream.”
Haslam is a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences and a music and arts enthusiast. She has served on numerous boards, including the Knoxville Symphony Society and the Knoxville Arts Council. She has been a member of the Tennessee Arts Commission and president of the Tennessee Presidents Trust.
In 2006 she, Jim Haslam, and the Haslam Family Foundation gave UT $32.5 million, $10 million of which was designated to the UT School of Music. The state of Tennessee allocated $30 million for the new music building.
“Our future is bright and it has been renewed with this building,” said Jeff Pappas, director of the School of Music. Thank you Mrs. Haslam. The spirit of this gift will live on through this building and students for generations to come.”
The celebration festivities included a concert held in the building’s Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall on Thursday. The concert was dedicated to the memory of Roger Stephens, the former School of Music director who provided the vision for the building but passed away soon after construction began.
The music center, which opened in August, represents the first time all School of Music programs, faculty, and staff are under one roof. The $40-million building replaces a facility that was constructed in 1964 to accommodate 150 students. The School of Music, housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, now serves more than 350 students.
“That’s why we are in the education business,” said Cheek.” “We are obligated to provide our students with the best faculty, staff, research opportunities and resources. This building will provide learning opportunities. It is the best building in the country.”
Construction on the Haslam Music Center project began in 2010. The four-floor, 123,000-square-foot facility houses eight technology-enhanced classrooms; fifty-six practice rooms; fifty-seven performance studios/academic offices; an organ studio; the 412-seat Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall; the George F. DeVine Music Library; a recording/mixing lab; computer, electronic music, and piano labs; and an academic tutoring center.
The building is energy efficient and is designed to reduce energy consumption. It also conserves water use through underground cisterns that collect and store rainwater used to irrigate the site’s plants and lawns.
The materials used in the building’s construction will allow it to be considered for LEED Silver certification from the US Green Building Council.
The School of Music received All-Steinway distinction this fall—an international mark of music excellence signaling that at least 90 percent of an institution’s pianos are Steinway-designed. The school recently completed the initiative to raise more than $3.5 million to purchase sixty-eight new Steinway & Sons pianos to either replace or add to its existing inventory.
Associated Music Center Architects, a joint venture of BarberMcMurry Architects and Blankenship and Partners, designed the music center and was responsible for the construction. Johnson and Galyon was the contractor.
The music center’s opening coincides with the opening of the John D. Tickle Engineering Building. They are among twelve classroom and research facilities on the Knoxville and Agriculture campuses that have been built or undergone major renovations in the past five years.
To learn more about the UT School of Music, visit the website or watch the video below.
Lola Alapo (865-974-3993, firstname.lastname@example.org)