Lipscomb receives $1 million gift to endow chair in piano

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Pianist Jerome Reed named first Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair in Piano
From left to right: President L. Randolph Lowry and his wife, Rhonda; Dr. Jerry Reed, and Patricia and Rodes Hart.
Jerome Reed, professor of music at Lipscomb University, has been named recipient of a newly endowed faculty chair, the Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair in Piano, President L. Randolph Lowry announced.
The Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair in Piano was made possible by a $1 million gift from Nashville businessman Rodes Hart.
“I wanted to give this gift because I am so amazed by the skill and ability of Jerry Reed, who is my piano teacher. I wanted to do something significant for him and for the department. I didn’t really know very much about Lipscomb University until I met him. I wanted to do something to support piano teaching specifically because of what he has done for me,” said Hart. “We believe strongly that supporting music and the arts is important in a well-rounded cultural city like Nashville.”
“This generous gift from the Harts, creating an endowed chair, provides many opportunities for Lipscomb’s music faculty and students. The Harts’ passion for music, in particular piano, is being magnificently translated into a legacy in music education. It is fitting that Professor Reed, whose skills are internationally recognized, be the first to fill this chair,” said Lowry.
Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair of Piano Jerome Reed
Reed and Hart developed a friendship last year when Reed assisted Hart in selecting a Steinway for his office. Reed began to give Hart piano lessons during the summer, which quickly sparked a close friendship. Today, Reed goes to Hart’s Brentwood office once a week to conduct a piano lesson. The two share a passion for the piano and the arts. Hart and his wife, Patricia, and Reed and his wife, Kimberly, professor of English and foreign languages at Lipscomb, have enjoyed attending arts events together around Nashville in recent months.
Reed’s performance schedule averages around 20 concerts, lectures and recitals every year. He has performed extensively in the United States, South America, Europe and the Far East, appearing in such venues as the Mendelssohnhaus in Leipzig, Germany, the Musikhochschule in Graz, Austria, and the Conservatoire Royale in Brussels. His work has been broadcast over U.S., German and Australian Public Radio. A member of the Lipscomb music faculty for 27 years, Reed provides private piano and composition lessons and teaches classroom courses in piano literature and pedagogy. This year Reed was named Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Music Teachers Association. He holds the D.M.A. and M.M. in piano performance from The Catholic University of America and the B.M. in music from Middle Tennessee State University.
“This chair allows its holder to do all of the things that he or she dreamed of being able to do but couldn’t due to budget constraints,” said Reed. “I never imagined that our friendship would develop the way it has. Rodes has proven to be one of the most diligent and dedicated students I have ever taught. I have enjoyed seeing his progress and it has been a pleasure for me to see how quickly he is improving.”
The Harts’ are benefactors of numerous arts and educational organizations including The Frist Center, the Nashville Opera, Nashville Symphony, Cheekwood and, beyond Nashville, through the Aspen Music Festival and the Frick Collection in New York City. The Harts extend their support for excellence in the arts with the Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair in Piano at Lipscomb University. He has also contributed to Lipscomb’s Steinway Initiative. The Harts have endowed numerous chairs in education and medicine at Vanderbilt University. Hart, a graduate of Vanderbilt, has been trustee or trustee emeritus at Vanderbilt since 1977. He is the former owner of Franklin Industries, Inc.

The Lipscomb University department of music in the College of Arts and Sciences is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The department of music is the first in the nation to require music majors to sit for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams. The department offers seven major programs of study and a variety of private lessons and ensembles. Applied music classes and private lessons are taught by full-time faculty members and professionals from the Nashville arts community including members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and leading studio musicians.