Dean’s Message: Moody Music Building Fire

Moody Music Building's piano wing
Moody Music Building

Last night a fire damaged the Million Dollar Band wing of Moody Music Building. The fire was contained after valiant efforts by firefighters and fortunately, no one was inside the building at the time and thus there are no reported injuries. Much of the equipment was secured and moved to another location.

We know the Moody Music Building is a special and sacred place to many people who consider this a second home, where they live and create and collaborate and share. In fact, it is a special place for me and my family who spend many hours here in lessons, concerts, and recitals benefiting from the accomplished faculty, staff, and students who make this such an amazing place. Like you, this is a happy place for us. And so, this tragedy hits close to home for us and for you.

I am incredibly proud of the leadership team of the School of Music, the facilities and grounds crews, the City of Tuscaloosa fire department, UAPD, and everyone else who had a hand in saving the school and preventing further damage. You are our heroes.

This morning I walked through the older portions of the building, and while it is too early to know the extent of the damage to the new wing, rest assured that we will rally and rise again. We will not hesitate to restore Moody Music Building to its greatness. We will continue to provide updates as they become available on the School of Music’s website at

This week my intent was to send you a different message about how our students remain resilient during this time and how their creativity continues to flourish. The topic was the power of music.

As we prepared this story and video last week about how our opera singers are using music to brighten people’s days during this time of social distancing, never could I have imagined that our music building—the very place where our students make this art form come alive—would be recovering from a fire.

But as Professor Skip Snead, director of the School of Music, so aptly said last night, we are reminded of this fact: The University of Alabama School of Music is not a building. It is the people.

We are so proud of our musicians and everything they do to enrich and elevate life on our campus and throughout the world, and we look forward to all that they will continue to accomplish as we work to restore the place that gives them the tools to thrive.

We are with you and we are strong. We are family. We are Bama Strong.

Thank you for your continued support of our students and our programs.

Joseph P. Messina
Dean and Professor