Carnegie Mellon University was founded in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie first as the Carnegie Technical Schools, renamed the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912, and after a merger with the Mellon Research Institute in 1968, Carnegie Mellon University.
Arthur A. Hamerschlag was as the first President of the Carnegie Technical Schools and Carnegie Institute of Technology, serving from 1903 to 1922.
Music was a part of the University from its inception just as it was for Carnegie himself, who donated 7,689 organs to churches and municipalities, served as president of the New York Philharmonic society, and helped establish the Pittsburgh Symphony. Carnegie also supported the construction of concert halls, including New York’s renowned Carnegie Hall and Pittsburgh’s 2,000-seat Carnegie Music Hall, former home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and now the main venue of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.
Although instruction toward a degree began in the School of Music in the autumn of 1912, music had been part of the University since its first classes in 1905, when men’s and women’s glee clubs and a mandolin club were at the heart of student activities. To support the school football team in 1908, a seven-member band organized into what would become the Kiltie Band, performing in traditional Scottish kilts in honor of Andrew Carnegie. The Kiltie Band is said to be the first marching band to form moving letters on the football field at a half-time performance. From the Band’s inception until his passing in 1938, the Director of the Kiltie Band was E. F. Sullivan.