Oklahoma State University faithful celebrated the groundbreaking of the long-awaited Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music Saturday in Stillwater.
The $28 million facility will be built along Hester Street north of Fourth Avenue and will be attached to the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts. Both facilities are expected to open fall 2019 with the McKnight Center hosting the New York Philharmonic that October.
The Greenwood School of Music is named after Stillwater philanthropists Michael and Anne Greenwood, alumni who have made numerous financial donations to the university.
"It is a dream come true for Mike and I to be able to make this gift to OSU Music," Anne Greenwood said while speaking to a crowd of hundreds during the dedication. "The ability to provide this building and these facilities that are so deserved makes us very proud."
The Greenwoods made the lead gift toward $15 million fundraising goal for the Greenwood School of Music, but $5 million in donations is still needed.
"When Ann (Hargis) and I got to Stillwater (10 years ago) we were just stunned at the quality of our music programs and our arts programs," OSU President Burns Hargis said during his speech. "But we were also stunned at the conditions of our facilities."
The Seretean Center for the Performing Arts, which was built in 1970, currently houses the music and theater programs.
The Greenwood School of Music offers approximately 200 undergraduate and 20 graduate majors to roughly 2,100 students.
They currently have 12 practice rooms and Ryan Gardner, associate professor of trumpet, said students have come up with creative solutions and often practice in hallways, stairwells, outside and even in bathrooms.
"Mike and Anne, thank you for being the guardian angels of OSU Music," Gardner said.
Hargis also praised the Greenwoods for thier latest gift , saying "We can't thank you enought for all you have done for Oklahoma State University."
The Greenwood School of Music will include music laboratories, classrooms, rehearsal spaces and teaching studios with all the latest technology.
"For at least a generation, the faculty, the students and alumni have been dreaming for this day," said Howard Potter, head of the Greenwood School of Music.
Senior Noah Mennega, who won national and international trumpet competitions this summer, also addressed the crowd.
"My time at OSU has been very influential and I can't wait for the next generation of musicians to experience this welcoming university, its outstanding music program, and the wonderful faculty who've made such an impact on me," Mennega said.