Historical Timeline

A Brief Historical Timeline of the UK School of Music

1865 UK was founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky.

1881 Music courses first offered.

1918 Department of Music formed.

1918 University Orchestra formed – housed in White Hall.

1927 Winslow Street Church enlarged to house Departments of Art and Music.

1937 Department of Music receives National Association of Schools of Music accreditation.

1939 Department of Music reorganized with full-time faculty in applied music.

1948 First graduate degrees in Music conferred.

1950 Fine Arts Building dedicated. Includes Music, Theatre and Visual Arts Department as well as the new Guignol Theater.

1970 First DMA conferred (Helen Fullbright).

1971 Ph.D. in Musicology approved.

1972 Department of Music becomes School of Music.

1978 First Ph.D. conferred (Kristine Forney). Dr. Joe Buttram becomes Director of the School of Music

1979 UK Center for the Arts dedicated with Robert Shaw conducting the Verdi Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

1980 Doctoral programs in music reorganized to include D.M.A. in Performance and Composition, and Ph.D. in Musicology, Theory and Music Education.

1986 Center for the Arts is renamed Otis A. Singletary Center for the Arts. Dr. Alan Hersh becomes Director of the School of Music.

1989 Professor Harry Clarke becomes Director of the School of Music.

1991 UK Friends of Music established to provide public support for the School of Music.

1996 UK Opera Theatre program is established.

1998 The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music is established.

2000 The Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center opens.

2003 Dr. Ben Arnold becomes Director of the School of Music.

2004 First Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert held, featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

2005

  • Second Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
  • First Moonlight Serenade black tie fundraiser held at Pin Oak Stud.
  • First UK Women’s Choir European Tour

2006

  • UK Symphony Orchestra performs sold-out concert with Arlo Guthrie.
  • UKSO released its first CD, Music of the Horse, in partnership with Keeneland.
  • Third Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in Mahler Second Symphony ("Resurrection").
  • Second Moonlight Serenade black tie fundraiser held at R.J. Corman's aircraft hangar in Nicholasville.

2007

  • UK Symphony Orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall with Arlo Guthrie
  • Fourth Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in “A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein: The 50th Anniversary of West Side Story
  • Third Moonlight Serenade black tie fundraiser held at R.J. Corman's aircraft hangar in Nicholasville.
  • UKOT and UK Symphony Orchestra’s world premiere recording of Thomas Pasatieri’s Hotel Casablanca on Albany

2008

  • The UK Wind Ensemble traveled on a 10-day tour to China
  • Fifth Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in “To Russia With Love,” with a performance of Prokofiiev’s Alexander Nevsky
  • Fourth Moonlight Serenade black tie fundraiser held at historic Gainesway Farm
  • UK Chorale toured The Bahamas Under The Auspices Of The Minister Of Culture

2009

  • UK Symphony Orchestra, Members of the UK Opera Theatre, and the UK Chorale performed “Our Lincoln” at the Kennedy Center.
  • Sixth Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
  • Fifth Moonlight Serenade black tie fundraiser held at CastlePost in Versailles
  • Second UK Women’s Choir European Tour

2010

  • UK Symphony Orchestra returned with Arlo Guthrie to Carnegie Hall in November
  • Seventh Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in Hector Berlioz’s Requiem
  • Sixth Moonlight Serenade fundraiser held at picturesque Donamire Farm
  • Go! The Music of Bob Mintzer, with performances of the UK Wind Ensemble, was nominated for a Grammy Award
  • UK Chorale toured France

2011

  • Eighth Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in Johannes Brahms’s Requiem
  • UKSO performed with the Boston Pops in Rupp Arena as part of Keeneland’s 75th Anniversary
  • UK Jazz Ensemble makes first European tour and plays at the Montreux Jazz Festival and at the North Sea Jazz Festival

2012

  • Ninth Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert featuring UKSO and UK Choirs in “An Evening of Favorite Opera Overtures and Choruses”
  • Third UK Women’s Choir European Tour
  • Dr. Skip Gray appointed Interim Director of UK School of Music.