More room for music: The Lillibridge Wing is now open at the National Music Museum


VERMILLION, SD (KELO) – Since 1973, the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota has exhibited a wide range of music collections. After a three-year project, the museum has room for even more music.

Construction is finally complete at the National Music Museum and the Lillibridge Wing is ready to welcome visitors.

“What’s cool is that we have a new concert hall, we have the Groves Gallery, which will be a rotating exhibit and you can probably see there, the museum is going electric,” Scott Lawrence, chairman of the board of administration of the museum, said.

The gallery’s first exhibition features many electric stringed instruments from the museum’s collection that have never been seen before.

“If I can learn something that I didn’t know or a perspective, you know, even a very common instrument like the electric guitar and say to myself, ‘now I have a new perspective on how it developed or how it relates to other things, “I think that’s really exciting,” said Arian Sheets, curator of stringed instruments.

While the Lillibridge Wing will now be open to the public, the original Carnegie Library museum is still undergoing work on some exhibits that music lovers can stay tuned to.

The original building will host the museum’s permanent exhibits to tell stories of musical creativity and connection.

“This museum contains the largest collection of musical instruments in the world, some of the rarest and finest you’ll find, right down to Elvis’s guitar and Bill Clinton’s sax,” Lawrence said. “It’s more than 15,000 instruments. What excites me most is what it means for Vermillion, for the campus, for the state, for the region.

“When you live in a small community in a small state, sometimes it’s hard to get the kind of cultural attractions that you would get in big cities,” Sheets said. “And what’s really good about the National Music Museum is that it brings world-class artifacts and exhibits and programming to an audience that is truly underserved otherwise.”

A musical landmark now with more space and more to offer.

Visitors can check out the electric instruments in the Groves Gallery on October 1. Their fall hours are Monday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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