A Century of Making Music

Butler

To honor its 100th anniversary, the Butler School of Music has planned a full year of pomp and circumstance. On Dec. 4, the world-renowned Miró Quartet and The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra will kick off the festivities at Bass Concert Hall with the premiere of a piece written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, a former Butler faculty member. Puts composed the work especially for the occasion.

UT’s department of music was formed in 1913, offering courses in music history, appreciation analysis of form, and harmony. However, in 1925, despite the highest enrollment in its 12-year existence, the department was disbanded by Governor “Pa” Ferguson. UT began to offer a music degree again in 1938 with the founding of the College of Fine Arts.

Today, the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music serves more than 400 undergraduate and 300 graduate students, and has a faculty of nearly 100. Students receive instruction in areas that include composition, conducting, music publishing, and digital recording, and there’s increasingly a focus on music industry courses. Classes are taught by real-world mentors, including Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson and platinum record producer Gary Powell, known for composing for Disney films like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

The Butler School will cap its year of centennial celebrations with another performance—featuring every instrument in the school—in October 2014.

Photo by Ben Aqua.

 

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