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

Local News

VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) – Since 1973, the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota has featured a wide array of musical collections. After a three year project, the museum has room for even more music.

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

“The cool part of that is we have a new concert hall, we have the Groves Gallery, which will be a rotating exhibit and you can probably see in there, the museum goes electric,” Scott Lawrence, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the museum, said.

The first exhibit in the gallery 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 of, you know, even an instrument that’s very common like the electric guitar and be like, ‘now I’ve got a new perspective on how it developed or how it relates to other things,’ I think that’s really exciting,” Arian Sheets, curator of stringed instruments, said.

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

The original building will host the museum’s permanent exhibits as a way to tell stories of music creativity and connection.

“This museum contains the greatest collection of musical instruments in the world, some of the most rarest and finest you’ll find, all the way to Elvis’s guitar and the Bill Clinton sax,” Lawrence said. “It’s over 15,000 instruments. What I’m most excited about is what it means for Vermillion, for the campus, for the state, for the region.”

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

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

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

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