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U Receives $3M from Marriott Family Foundations to Support Music Scholarships, Student Performing Arts Productions and Kingsbury Hall

Generous grants from three private Marriott family foundations will establish an endowment in the College of Fine Arts to support music education, student productions and the "Kingsbury Hall Presents" theatrical season

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Feb. 17, 2009 - The University of Utah announced today that The Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation, The Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation have together pledged $3 million to the University to establish an endowment that will support scholarships in the School of Music, student performance productions and Kingsbury Hall's main programming season. In recognition, the auditorium at historic Kingsbury Hall has been named the Nancy Peery Marriott Auditorium.

"This wonderful gift adds to the strength of the School of Music and Kingsbury Hall, institutions that have a long and proud history of working together to nurture students and bring the arts to the entire community," said Raymond Tymas-Jones, associate vice president for the arts. "We are honored that our efforts will carry Nancy Peery Marriott's name."

The Nancy Peery Marriott Endowed Fund for Scholarship, Performance and Production will provide scholarships and fellowships for students in the School of Music and will also support student performance productions in opera, musical theatre, jazz and related programs in music, theatre and dance that take place in Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus. The fund will also support the professional "Kingsbury Hall Presents" season.

"The key to the University's success has always been the generosity of our extraordinary benefactors, such as the Marriott family," said University of Utah President Michael K. Young. "Whether we are facing uncertain economic times, or celebrating a budget surplus, endowment funds ensure that we continue to reach for all of our goals in perpetuity. As a gift that keeps on giving, this endowment fund will strengthen the very foundation of our institution and provide the sure footing from which we will leap into greatness."

About Nancy Peery Marriott

Ms. Marriott is a lyric soprano who has appeared extensively in concert, oratorio and recital throughout the United States, Austria and the Middle East. Among her many distinguished performances are appearances at The National Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston Symphony Hall and appearances with the Heifetz International Music Institute and Opera International. She has also performed in numerous leading roles with the Washington Savoyard Company, the Mormon Symphony Orchestra and Choir and the Tabernacle Choir. She was the featured soloist in Israel for the Jerusalem Center, for the annual Messiah "sing-in" with the National Symphony Orchestra and made her Utah Symphony Orchestra debut as the soloist in Handel's Messiah. She has also served as a panelist for the National Opera Society Symposium on Women in Opera and Theatre at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Ms. Marriott received her Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Utah, where she also studied music and voice with faculty at the School of Music.

"The School of Music is honored by the graciousness of the Marriott family," said Robert Walzel, director of the School of Music. "Just as Nancy Peery Marriott enjoys a musical career that has spanned stages across continents, this wonderful gesture of support will undoubtedly open similar opportunities for future generations of university musicians and singers."

"This substantial gift will enhance and grow our mission, which includes providing students with numerous opportunities to perform on a professional stage and collaborate with established artists and professional crews," added Greg Geilmann, director of Kingsbury Hall. "As we continue Kingsbury Hall's incredible history into the future, this generous support helps us celebrate the incubation of new artists, ideas and partnerships."

About the School of Music at the University of Utah

The School of Music had its beginnings in 1888 when University President John Rocky Park appointed four members to the music faculty. In 1948, the Utah Symphony and conductor Maurice Abravanel moved to campus, strengthening the music education and performance programs. Housed in the beautifully renovated David Gardner Hall on Presidents Circle, the School of Music supports an abundance of student performing ensembles and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in composition, conducting, music education, music history, musicology, music theory and performance. World-renowned performers appear regularly as part of the School's Virtuoso Series and in performances sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber Music Society. The School is home to the University's large musical ensembles: University of Utah Singers, A Cappella Choir, Utah Philharmonia, University Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensembles, and Lyric Opera Ensemble.

About Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah

Built in 1930, historic Kingsbury Hall was the birthplace for many of Utah's premier performing arts organizations including Ballet West, The Utah Opera, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and Repertory Dance Theatre. Kingsbury Hall serves its dual mission as a university and community performance venue by presenting a robust slate of national touring productions as well as showcasing productions by students in the College of Fine Arts; over 180 performances annually take place in its 1900 seat auditorium. In 2007, Kingsbury Hall and Salt Lake City School District were selected as the first and only Utah team to join the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education Program. Located on Presidents Circle next to the School of Music, Kingsbury Hall is on the National Register of Historic Sites and is one of the most widely recognized public buildings in the state of Utah. In 1995, it was completely renovated for the Utah Statehood Centennial Celebration.

Media Contacts

Shaleane Gee
University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning
Office phone: (801) 581-3488
Email address: s.gee@utah.edu
Taunya Dressler
U of U Public Relations Specialist
Office phone: (801) 587-9183
Email address: t.dressler@ucomm.utah.edu
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