A-State Moving to Become All-Steinway School with Support from Alumni and Friends
Arkansas State University, through the College of Fine Arts, is beginning the process to become an All-Steinway School.
This means the university will gradually replace virtually all performance and rehearsal pianos with Steinway products. Steinway & Sons pianos are known throughout the world for their superb musical quality and are preferred exclusively by major orchestras, universities and colleges.
The first big step at A-State occurred Wednesday when Amro Music of Memphis, a Steinway dealership, delivered 20 pianos to the Department of Music. These instruments, provided on loan, were placed in various performance and rehearsal rooms in the Fine Arts Center in anticipation of the university’s commitment to becoming All-Steinway.
A transportation crew set up the Steinway and Boston pianos, and hauled out 17 old instruments that were deemed inadequate for continued use. Some of the old pianos have served their purpose very well, but most, if not all, are more than 40 years old and have outlived their usefulness. For the College of Fine Arts programs to thrive like the students and faculty desire, it was time to begin upgrading the instruments in a serious way, according to Ken Hatch, chair of the Department of Music.
“Philanthropic support from alumni and friends will be vital to the success of this endeavor,” Hatch added. “We are extremely pleased to see this first major step, and look forward to taking this initiative to completion.”
Steinway products are preferred by keyboard artists of all ages because of their fine touch and rich sound quality.
“Becoming an All-Steinway School has numerous advantages, including a highly positive impact on recruitment of talented students and faculty,” according to Dr. Lauren Schack Clark, associate professor of music. “Further, students who enroll at All-Steinway Schools tend to be better prepared for their professional careers. The pianos on which they practice are virtually the same as the ones on which they perform. With Steinways, it's like a visual artist who has every subtle hue of paint perfectly combined on his palette, allowing him to create exactly what is in his mind.”
The Department of Music and A-State Development Office are working with a committee of interested alumni and other individuals to raise the money for future purchases of Steinway products.
Two of the committee members, Robin Yates and Dr. J. D. Kelly, were on hand to see the arrival of the loaned pianos because of their enthusiasm for the project. Yates is well known for her music education career in Craighead County public schools, and Dr. Kelly taught piano at ASU for many years and continues to teach privately.
Steinway & Sons makes the designation of an All-Steinway School based on an inventory analysis and an approved maintenance program. To be considered for the designation, 90 percent of a school’s acoustic pianos must be Steinway & Sons, Boston, or Essex.
Those who are interested in assisting the Department of Music to achieve its All-Steinway designation may contact Anthony Coleman, director of development, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (870) 972-3632.
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