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University of Missouri

Sheryl Crow Comes Home

Grammy-winning Mizzou alumna performs School of Music benefit show.

Sheryl Crow performing

Sheryl Crow performs a MU School of Music benefit concert at the Missouri Theatre. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

A lot has changed since Sheryl Crow, BS Ed ’84, was a student at Mizzou. Crow has evolved from a budding musician performing with the local cover band Cashmere at Bullwinkle’s (now the FieldHouse) into a nine-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter performing for presidents and the Dalai Lama. The Eastern European countries Crow visited as a freshman touring with Mizzou’s Singsations jazz ensemble have, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, shifted from communist rule to democratic elections. Since 1984, Mizzou has migrated from the Big 8 conference to the SEC (to the delight of Crow, a Nashville resident) and has grown from 24,553 to 35,448 enrolled students. And don’t even get us started on hairstyles.

But one thing hasn’t changed much: Mizzou’s School of Music facilities.

The campus is beautiful and really updated, with lots of gorgeous new buildings,” Crow says, “except for the music school, which is basically as it was when I was there.”

To escort the school into the current millennium, Crow returned to her alma mater for Homecoming 2015. She gave a surprise performance at the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign kickoff event and put on a sold-out benefit concert at the Missouri Theatre to help raise funds for the construction of a new School of Music building.

That’s another thing that hasn’t changed since the ’80s: Crow’s passion for arts education.

I think the arts are what really documents a civilization, going all the way back to the beginning of humanity,” the former music teacher says. “Music has been handed down through every generation, and if we don’t nurture that, then a big part of who we are as a people is lost.”

Higher education plays a major role in this process, she says, and updated facilities are essential. As she told the Missouri Theatre audience: “This ain’t no country club. This ain’t no disco. This is the University of Missouri.”

We hear you, Sheryl.