Make Hilley's Dream Come True


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Piano Labs students and Professor Martha Hilley throw a Hook 'Em

From individual lessons and ensemble rehearsals to recitals, concerts, studio work, classes and stage productions, Butler School students are grounded in what it takes to be superb musicians.

They start building that foundation in the piano labs with Professor Martha Hilley.

We estimate that about 90% of Butler School alumni have had the experience of working with "Hilley." An even higher percentage of you have known that she was in the audience of student ensembles, chamber music or solo performances
– maybe even yours?

The Butler School piano labs require high quality space, quality instruments, and the most current technology—all of which are currently in short supply. The existing labs were refurbished in the late 1990's. Now, over 15 years and many technological developments later, these labs are tired and need to be brought up to the 21st century. Our bright and talented students deserve a space that will prepare them effectively for their futures. Our students shouldn't have to wonder if "their piano" or "their headset" is going to work.

New technologies on the wish list for the two Piano Labs include: replacement of blackboards with interactive "smartboards"; multiple cameras strategically placed around Professor Hilley's teaching piano, allowing for ease of demonstration to the students; replacement of the computers in both labs; 17 functioning "back-up" piano headsets for when headsets need repair; and monitors at each student piano that are "daisy-chained" to the teaching piano.

This spring 2016, we’re thrilled to launch a new video mini-series for the campaign created by InfiniD Music, co-owned and run by two of our very own talented music business students. We’ll be releasing a new video each month with a different highlight so, be sure to share with your friends. But wait, there’s more! From now until May 31, 2016, donations can go even further. Thanks to generous donors, any gift today will be matched up to $30,000!

Check out April's video here!

March video

February video


Our Piano Labs need a facelift! Won't you be part of the transformation?


Working together, we will realize the goal to raise $350,000 and create two high-functioning piano labs.


Name a student piano for $2,500, one of Hilley's teaching pianos for $5,000 or an entire piano teaching lab for $150,000. For more on how you can transform these spaces, contact Sondra Lowmax, Assistant Dean of Development by email or call 512-796-9594.

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