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Cadek Hall is one of many buildings on the UTC campus.

The Cadek Conservatory of Music, a provider of private music lessons for generations of Chattanoogans since its founding in 1904, will throw open its doors this summer at a new location on the campus of Girls Preparatory School.

The conservatory, for decades affiliated with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will begin its next era in partnership with GPS this summer in a historic building originally designed by architect Mario Bianculli for use as his own residence.

"GPS's commitment to the performing arts, in addition to its reputation for academic excellence, ensures a high-quality instructional program that will continue to enhance the musical landscape of Chattanooga," said Chris Smith, GPS board chairwoman and director of UTC's School of Nursing, in a news release.

Cadek will remain at UTC through its first summer term, but will be open at GPS in time for the second summer term beginning July 1. Registration for both terms will be managed through UTC and begins April 2.

The move is music to the ears of some UTC officials who previously wondered what to do about the conservatory, which had become a financial drain on the university.

In 2015, the Times Free Press reported that a university "budget rebalancing" process intended to reallocate $5.8 million annually outlined the pressing need to rethink Cadek's future since it didn't directly serve UTC operations.

"The Cadek Conservatory does not serve UTC students and has no connection to UTC operations except that UTC pays for all of the facilities and equipment," a university budget document stated. "Cadek must become self-sufficient from a financial perspective."

Chuck Cantrell, UTC's associate vice chancellor of marketing and communication, said those issues have been taken care of through this partnership with GPS and the conservatory's move to that campus.

"It creates a model that is sustainable for all parties and really does keep the access to these lessons in our community," Cantrell said.

As it grows at a furious clip, university officials are casting around for additional space. Cantrell said Cadek's upcoming vacancy of its current building on Oak Street will free up room for classrooms.

But the conservatory's new hosts are excitedly looking forward to its presence on their own campus, especially given its historical significance.

"Since being approached by UTC about partnering in a transition of the Cadek Conservatory to the campus of GPS, our goal has been to honor the conservatory's historic significance and tradition of excellence while increasing its value to the community," said Dr. Autumn Graves, GPS's head of school.

"The alignment of Cadek with GPS will allow a broader range of families in the community to take advantage of Cadek's services and for the Cadek legacy to continue and thrive in Chattanooga."

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at egienapp@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.

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