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Officials: UE no longer eliminating music program

Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 9:17 AM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Officials with the University of Evansville announced Monday that their music department will not be eliminated.

Officials say this comes after an outpour of support for the program.

Back in December, UE announced an academic realignment plan that would possibly have eliminated 17 majors from the university, including the music department.

[UE announces academic realignment plan, multiple majors could be cut]

University leaders also announced new plans for their department of music. That plan includes a collaborative deal to create the UE Music Conservatory and a fund for the renovation of Wheeler Concert Hall.

University President Christopher Pietruszkiewicz says the plan was a collaboration between Department of Music co-chairs, faculty, Friends of UE Music, community partnerships, private donors, trustees, and the administration.

The department’s new initiatives include:

  • Retention of all five music degrees: Music Education, Music Therapy, Music Management, Music Performance, and Music - General
  • Creation of the University of Evansville Music Conservatory, which will benefit UE students, provide private lessons to preschool through 12th grade students and adults, continue to offer Suzuki violin instruction, begin to offer dual enrollment courses in music, and strengthen the University’s enrollment pipeline
  • Implementation of new offerings, including a music therapy clinic and a redesigned summer music camp which will increase revenue, enhance community engagement, and strengthen recruiting opportunities
  • Full renovation of Wheeler Concert Hall and the Krannert Hall of Art and Music lobby
  • Increased fundraising from Friends of UE Music

You can watch UE’s full announcement below.

Brandon Bertinotti, a University of Evansville Music Therapy Major, learned Monday morning that his school would not be dropping his major after all.

”It’s excellent that they decided to keep it going because this is something that the community seriously needed,” Bertinotti said.

”What started out for something very challenging for us, I think, turned into something that is extremely beneficial for the music program here under any circumstances,” Dennis Malfatti, Co-Chair for the Department of Music said.

Bertinotti says it’s been challenging not knowing if he could graduate from UE or not.

”It’s kind of been up in the air knowing if I’m going to be even able to finish my degree because, without my professors and the program, I would have not actually been able to succeed,” Bertinotti said.

Brandon says he’s relieved about the music department, but there is still so much more work to do with the other 16 majors in jeopardy of being eliminated.

14 News interviewed Tad Dickel with Friends of UE at 14 News at 5.

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