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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Planned to Celebrate National Music Museum Expansion

A photo of the Carnegie building in 2021. The grass is green and the landscaping with flowers is bright and full. The Lillibridge Wing completes the Carnegie building. A ribbon cutting will be held on Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. to celebrate the opening of the Lillibridge expansion at the National Music Museum.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The National Music Museum (NMM) will be joined by the University of South Dakota, Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company (VCDC) and city of Vermillion to celebrate the opening of the Lillibridge Expansion at the NMM with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m.

Work on the approximately 16,000 square-foot expansion to the existing Carnegie building began in the spring of 2019 after years of planning.

“We are excited to officially open the Lillibridge Wing of the National Music Museum,” said Scott Lawrence, NMM board chairman. “It has been a true partnership between USD, the city of Vermillion, our board of trustees and the NMM staff.”

“The renovation and expansion of the museum has been a long-held dream of ours,” Michael Suing, NMM interim director said. “Collaboration with community partners and significant contributions from NMM trustees and others have made it possible to welcome the public into the Lillibridge Wing, funded by the generous gifts of Tom and Cindy Lillibridge.”

The Lillibridge Wing includes a new museum store, the Janet L. Wanzek Performance Hall, the Groves Gallery for Special Exhibitions and the Wohlenberg Administrative Suite.

“In so many ways, the trustees of the National Music Museum have demonstrated their passion for the mission and collection within the expansion,” Suing said. “The new Janet L. Wanzek Performance Hall will provide the perfect setting for the ‘NMM Live!’ concert series and various public events and the Wohlenberg Administrative Suite will provide a light-filled contemporary work space for staff, fostering collaboration and creativity. This is such an exciting time in the institution’s history!”

Through the generosity of Jason and Betsy Groves, the Groves Gallery for Special Exhibitions will feature exhibitions that highlight topics not addressed in the NMM’s permanent exhibits and showcase rarely seen objects from the collections and traveling exhibitions from other museums.

The inaugural exhibit in the Groves Gallery, “NMM Goes Electric!,” will explore the history of electric and amplified stringed instruments. The gallery opening for “NMM Goes Electric!” will take place immediately after the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 24. Public hours for the museum expansion are scheduled on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Oct. 1 to Dec. 13. Admission is free for the exhibition and all public events.


The National Music Museum (NMM) located on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota, is one of the world’s finest collection of musical instruments, with some 15,000 items in its holdings. The NMM owns some of the most historically significant musical instruments in existence. Founded in 1973, the National Music Museum Inc. is a non-profit entity in partnership with USD.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News