About the Museum
Carolina Music Museum brings a new concept for music to Heritage Green as the new Greenville-based home for the world-famous Carolina Clavier Collection—more than 40 English, European, and American pianos and harpsichords dating from 1570 to 1845. The museum will also exhibit other culturally important instruments, provide performance spaces for intimate concerts, and offer adjunct space for associated music organizations. With the opening of the new Carolina Music Museum, the opportunities for art, science, and music to intermix and influence audiences of all ages has arrived in the heart of downtown Greenville.
“We want to provide a total musical immersion experience and be one of the ‘go-to’ places when people think of music in the Upstate.”—Tom Strange, Artistic Director and Curator
In early 2017, Greenville arts advocates Steve Bichel, Beth Lee, and Tom Strange set out to create the leading center for preserving and celebrating the musical narratives of the Carolinas and the Southeast—and that vision became the new Carolina Music Museum.
Steve Bichel holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University, is a licensed SC Real Estate Broker and Homebuilder, and serves as an Officer for the Greenville County Youth Orchestra. Beth Lee attended the Juilliard Music School, and received her Master of Music and Master of Adult Education from Morehead State University. Tom Strange holds a BS and PhD in Physics, as well as a BFA in Art Studio, from the University of South Carolina. He is a Technologist and founding member of Maven Capacitor, SC Launch, and SCBIO, and is an early keyboard authority and sponsor of the “Changing Keys” exhibit at Colonial Williamsburg.
OUR MISSION AND VISION
Our mission is to celebrate, entertain, and inform audiences of all ages about the rich musical history and traditions of the Carolinas, through historically and culturally significant instruments. Our vision is to be the leading center for preserving and celebrating the musical narratives of the Carolinas and the Southeast, through educational programs, exhibits, and performances by distinguished artists.
Our core is the early keyboard collection, with a mission to educate and inform emerging musicians, seasoned professionals, and all visitors as they experience the ability of these instruments to illuminate the actual intent of the composers who played them and composed for them. Modern pianos must often rely on heavily interpreted versions of such early compositions—to hear the difference is remarkable.
The museum resides in a historically significant building—the Coca-Cola Bottling Company was constructed on four acres of wooded land on Buncombe Street in 1930. Stella Ellis, widow of founder Charles W. Ellis, directed operations in the distinctive and decorative building, defined by large windows which allowed passers-by to observe the bottling process.
In 2002, the old bottling company site became the new home of the Greenville County Public Library and the Upcountry History Museum. The front section of the Coca-Cola building—the only part of the former plant that remains—became the Carolina Music Museum in early 2018.
Roy S. Fluhrer, PhD
Artistic Director and Curator
Director of Operations
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Senior Editor, Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments
Curator, Joe & Joella Utley Collection, The National Music Museum
Curator Emeritus, The National Music Museum
Curator, Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Curator Emeritus, New York Metropolitan Museum
Curator, Russell Collection, St. Cecilia Hall, Edinburgh
Curator Emeritus, Colonial Williamsburg