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Blair School of Music

The Blair School of Music:
From Peabody to Blakemore

The Blair School of Music is Vanderbilt University’s youngest undergraduate
college, but its history begins on the Peabody campus. Founded in 1964 as a
precollegiate preparatory program, the Blair Academy of Music’s original home
was a converted two-story house on 18th Avenue South. The Blair Academy was
affiliated with the George Peabody College for Teachers, and many of Blair’s full-
time faculty held academic rank at Peabody. In the fall of 1977, the academy
officially became the Blair School of Music, a private, independent institution with
an enrollment of 470 precollege students, 78 adults, and 27 college students.

In 1979, ground was broken for a new building on 2400 Blakemore Avenue.
Completed in the summer of 1980, the original Blair building was two stories and
included what is now the Steve and Judy Turner Hall and the space that became
the Anne Potter Wilson Music Library. Blair officially merged with Vanderbilt on
January 1, 1981. The first undergraduate music majors began their studies in the
fall of 1986. In 1998 and 1999, the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust approved
a two-phase expansion of Blair. Phase I, completed in 2000, was a three story
addition that expanded Blair’s footprint towards 25th Avenue and provided new
classroom, studio, and practice room spaces. Phase II was officially completed in
2001 with the completion of the Martha Rivers Ingram Center for the Performing
Arts. The Wilson Music Library also received an extensive renovation and

[Original Home of the Blair Academy of Music on 1208 18th Ave. S.]
Photograph Reproduction, circa 1964
Blair School of Music Archives

[Groundbreaking Ceremony for new Blair School of Music building on Blakemore Avenue]
Photograph Reproduction, 1979
Blair School of Music Archives