Sept. 21, 2012 —
The Kentucky Center for Traditional Music has moved from its previous location at 149 E. First Street to 185 E. Main Street, formerly home to the Rowan County Public Library. The center, which was designed by Ross-Tarrant Architects Inc., of Lexington, cost an estimated $3.5 million to build between the purchase of the land and property and renovation.
According to Mike Walters, chief financial officer and vice president for administration and fiscal services, $2 million came from the Regional University Excellence Trust Fund, otherwise known as Bucks for Brains, while the remaining balance came from private donors.
The new facility has space for the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music’s various academic programs, offices, practice rooms, a recording studio and the traditional music archives. Raymond W. McLain, director of the Kentucky Center of Traditional Music, said the center’s archives contains more examples of traditional music than the Smithsonian Institute, with much of its content digitized and fully accessible to the general public. Visitors also can utilize a work room containing four work/listening stations and a climate-controlled storage room to properly preserve and store the center’s numerous music artifacts.
“I loved what went on at our previous location. However, the space did not lend itself to literature-type classes or classes such as music theory or private instruction,” McLain said. “The new place, however, is ideally suited.”
The new center also will be home to a new major. In addition to students being able to obtain a minor in traditional music, they can obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music – Traditional Music. The program received approval by the National Association of Schools of Music this past summer and was approved by the MSU Board of Regents and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
“This program is very unique. To our knowledge, it’s the only nationally accredited program in traditional music in the country,” said Dr. M. Scott McBride, dean of the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “We’ve been a leader in music and music education for a very long time and it’s only natural that we take the lead in music of the region as well.”
Through the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music’s academic programs, well-developed archives and with performances and outreach through its “Classroom to Community” program, McLain hopes the center not only serves to enhance Morehead State and the region but also serve as a model for expanding studies in traditional music to colleges and universities across the country.
“I think Morehead State and the administration is making an investment in the future of its students,” McLain said. “We’re just on the horizon of the study of traditional music at schools of higher education and I think Morehead State University is on the cutting edge.”