Arts & Culture

Yamaha Recognizes UK School of Music as 1 of 10 Institutions of Excellence

photo of Fine Arts Building front entry
photo of logo for Yamaha Instituton of Excellence

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2021) — Yamaha Corporation of America has named the University of Kentucky School of Music as a 2021 honoree in its inaugural Institution of Excellence program, acknowledging the school’s extraordinary commitment to innovation in the study of music.

Only 10 outstanding schools nationwide earned the prestigious designation this year.

Yamaha is committed to working with the University of Kentucky in substantive ways for the long-term growth and benefit of its music students and faculty. The Institution of Excellence program is tailored to respond to each honoree’s unique mission and the designation unlocks benefits for the institution, its faculty and its students.

“For more than a century, Yamaha has focused on defining and elevating the quality of musical performance,” said Dan Rodowicz, senior director, Institutional Sales, Yamaha. “We chose the University of Kentucky for its outstanding work in creating an environment which fosters participation in the arts for its local community and encourages students and faculty to promote music-making as a key facet of a well-rounded life. From its myriad outreach programs to hosting regional concert festivals, UK is exceptional for engaging everyone in your ecosystem in enjoyable, challenging musical experiences. The excellence and size of its music education program cannot be underestimated in its impact in creating generations of future music makers. All of this is why we are pleased to invite the University of Kentucky to become part of a program that demonstrates our commitment to finding, celebrating and collaborating with institutions who share our vision for music’s crucial role in society.”

“We are honored to have been selected by Yamaha for this designation, which is a great vote of confidence in our efforts to improve the lives of students and members of our local and state-wide community through musical performances, teaching and research,” said Stanley Pelkey, director of the School of Music at the University of Kentucky. “Community outreach has been a critical component of our efforts to fulfill our mission as the School of Music in Kentucky’s flagship university for many years. Even in the midst of the current health crisis, we have worked to maintain our infrastructure by sharing concerts and educational programming for community members of all ages through electronic means. Indeed, we’ve even expanded some of our outreach programming despite current challenges. I look forward to collaborating with Yamaha in the months ahead as we continue to advance the well-being of Kentuckians across the Commonwealth through music.”  

This year’s 10 schools were selected by Yamaha following a rigorous, nationwide nomination and review process. Honorees are chosen for their dedication to providing unique and challenging experiences to their music students through diversity of thought and curriculum, exposure to a wider variety of voices and opportunities and an emphasis on preparing students for the modern world of music. Each year new Institutions will be selected for recognition and added to the roster.

The UK School of Music, part of UK's College of Fine Arts, provides students with world-class experiences through work with internationally recognized performers, teachers, researchers and guests. A large and comprehensive school, UK offers 11 different major degree programs, as well as minors and certificates, across a wide range of specialties and areas of study. For over 100 years, the school has prepared students for careers both in and outside the field of music.

For more information about Yamaha Institutional Solutions, please visit

About Yamaha

Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.