Celebrating 140 years of the Gretsch Company

Celebrating 140 years of the Gretsch Company

November 9, 20232 min read

Georgia Southern University helped Fred and Dinah Gretsch – and a roomful of other supporters and musical friends – celebrate 140 years of the Gretsch musical instruments company and “that great Gretsch sound” at a recent anniversary celebration at Savannah’s Plant Riverside district.

Benefitting the Georgia Music Foundation, the event was held in a space that is a living testament to the partnership between Georgia Southern and the Gretsches, whose name are on the University’s school of music. “That Great Gretsch Sound!” Museum is a spotlight destination in the heart of downtown Savannah that tells the rich history of the Gretsch family and company.

The space celebrates Gretsch’s ever-growing worldwide musical community, honors the Gretsch family commitment to music education, and showcases hundreds of Gretsch’s most storied instruments.

In addition to the instruments and artifacts on display in Savannah, Georgia Southern is working to build one of the most comprehensive digital document collections of music industry history, thanks to decades of resources collected by Fred and Dinah and donated to our University Libraries.

Together, through innovative pathways, Gretsch and Georgia Southern are creating renewed interest in performance and music education amongst K-12 students throughout our region.

And, this fall at Georgia Southern, the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music saw a 25% increase in enrollment – with nearly 20% of the school’s students focused on our Music Industry program.

“Fred and Dinah, we thank you for your tireless efforts to make Georgia Southern a more musical place,” Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero said. “Your guidance, resources, and imagination have helped us soar to new heights, and we look forward to our future together. “

The evening included performances by Georgia Southern Gretsch School of Music students, and Tony Arata, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame who grew up on Tybee Island and studied at Georgia Southern University.

Interested in learning more about the Gretsch's involvement with Georgia Southern or the Gretsch School of Music? Contact Georgia Southern's Director of Communications Jennifer Wise at jwise@georgiasouthern.edu to arrange an interview today.

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