A Vision of Excellence

The Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center, the region's largest and most comprehensive performing arts facility, is the proud home of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. With a commitment to showcasing the performing arts within the community, this world-class center spans 82,000 square feet and boasts state-of-the-art facilities.

Conceived as a hub for artistic expression, education, and community engagement, the center is the realization of the late Rudi E. Scheidt's vision. Alongside his family, he aspired to create a world-class performing arts center for their beloved hometown. After two decades of dedication and planning, the Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center officially opened its doors on February 4, 2023.

Grand Opening Weekend Showcased the Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center and Student Talent

A weekend of celebrations for the Scheidt Performing Arts Center at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music started Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening gala attended by 900 people. The six-hour party raised $725,000 for musical instruments, recording and audio technology and an instrument lending program.  

While most of the evening took place inside the stunning $40 million Scheidt Center, the night began with dinner guests arriving on a blue carpet, followed by champagne and tours of the building. Guests were then ushered by the Mighty Sound of the South Pep Band into the tent for dinner, accompanied by a student jazz quintet. Memphis rapper and friend of the late Rudi E. Scheidt served as the master of ceremonies welcoming guests and toasting the Scheidt family. 

Concert guests were greeted with champagne and passed hors d'oeuvres, and tours. Next, they moved into the Plough Foundation Performance Hall for a concert opening with the University Orchestra and the University Singers. Guests were surprised by Al Kapone performing E.O.T.T. with Desiree Soto Howe and the Pep Band on the balconies. The Scheidt children, Susan Scheidt Arney, Rudi Scheidt, Jr., Elkan Scheidt and Helen Scheidt Gronauer thanked the audience for joining them in celebrating the vision and dedication of their parents, Honey and Rudi. Six-time Grammy artist, Dionne Warwick gave a 75-minute performance alongside Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music students. 

Following the concert, guests entered the tent for a Memphis-themed after-party with The Bar-Kays and passed Gibson’s Doughnuts and Krystal’s burgers. 

The celebratory weekend continued on Sunday with the inaugural Honey Music Festival that showcased 17 different ensembles, chambers, choirs and studios throughout the Scheidt Center on five different stages. The event was free to the public and served as an open invitation to the community to come and enjoy this new performing arts center. Guests enjoyed a musical petting zoo for children, face painting, a balloon artist and visits from the UofM mascot, Pouncer. 

Our fundraising efforts continue to fully equip our state-of-the-art facility with needed equipment and support for an instrument-lending program for students. If you are interested in supporting the future of music in Memphis, please contact Meredith Powers at meredith.powers@memphis.edu or 859.749.6385.

Weekend sponsors included: First Horizon Foundation, Tommie Smith Dunavant, Joanne and Roy Howard Family & Bailard Foundation, Cigna, Regional One Health, Stern Cardiovascular, George Johnson, Temple Israel, Spirits of Timbercreek, Mahaffey, archimania, Fleming Architects, Greater Memphis Chamber