US Senator Lamar Alexander and his wife, in addition to three other couples- Ashley and Lew Conner, Denise and Steve Smith, and Colleen and Ted Welch, have given the original manuscript of “Tennessee Waltz” to the University of Tennessee. This gracious gift is to be displayed in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center.
Lamar Alexander presented the original sheet of music to the university’s music center, and then played the tune on the piano for Mrs. Haslam herself and the audience.
“Tennessee Waltz” was written by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart in December of 1946. Eventually the piece of music was made famous by singer Patti Page. “Tennessee Waltz” is one of the state of Tennessee’s official state songs.
Jeffrey Pappas, the director of the school of music at UT, expressed his gratitude by stating that, “It is an honor to have the original manuscript of ‘Tennessee Waltz’ in our building”. “This beautiful building has been created thanks to Mrs. Haslam herself, so it was great to have the ‘Tennessee Waltz’ played for her when the original manuscript was given to the music center”, said Pappas.
“‘Tennessee Waltz’ reflects the state of Tennessee,” Pappas said. “I think that when people hear this piece of music they relate to things like, not only the state itself, but also the University of Tennessee. When the Pride of the Southland Marching Band plays the ‘Tennessee Waltz’- we take pride in our state and our university.”
Hayley McGinnis, a member of UT Singers, Women’s Choir, and Women’s A Capella, shared her appreciation of the piece. “Receiving this original sheet of ‘Tennessee Waltz’ is an honor for the school of music,” said McGinnis. “I know that a lot of our students have been talking about this gift that we have received, and we cannot wait for it to be displayed in our building”.
This historical piece of music is the perfect addition to the brand new Natalie L. Haslam Music Center that just opened in August.
Edited by: Zach Dennis