Mississippi State's College of Education formally announces its All-Steinway Initiative with a Thursday [April 24] public display of the first class of pianos acquired toward the effort.
The celebration marks the formal beginning of the college's commitment to make the music education department an All-Steinway School.
In addition to joining more than 160 institutions of higher learning and conservatories throughout the world with this distinction, the university seeks to become the only Mississippi school holding the prestigious honor.
The announcement and celebration will take place 6-8:30 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Research Park's Industry Partners Building, located at 100 Research Park Blvd. During the event, MSU music majors and faculty will showcase their talents, both with a newly acquired Steinway grand and four verticals, and other featured instruments.
Based in Queens, N.Y., Steinway & Sons is the internationally renowned manufacturer of pianos. Founded in 1853, the company has been honored with numerous awards and granted more than 100 patents over its long history. For more, visit www.steinway.com.
"In the world of piano, Steinway is the name that eclipses all other names," said department head Michael Brown. "Indeed, most piano brands hope to be compared to Steinway, but all come up short and we are fortunate to bring these prime instruments to Mississippi State.
"With an All-Steinway school goal, we can begin to give our students and faculty the best piano tool and equip our rehearsal halls and studios with only Steinway pianos," Brown added.
Earlier this month, veteran department professors Jackie Edwards-Henry and Rosangela Sebba traveled to the Steinway factory to select a seven-foot grand piano that will reside permanently in Edwards-Henry's practice studio.
Purchase of the Steinway Grand and the four office verticals was made possible through an estate gift from the late Scarvia Bateman Anderson of Melbourne Beach, Fla., a 1945 MSU education alumna.
This group of five is the first of 30 new Steinways to be purchased over time with private gifts. By becoming an All-Steinway School, MSU can take a large step in improving the campus music program, Brown said.
The department offers undergraduate degrees in music and music education. Since 2012, it has made inroads to purchase new pianos after an inventory of existing pianos in use reflected an average age of nearly 40 years. Many are in poor condition.
"The impact of an All-Steinway School will enhance the department's ability to recruit high quality students from across the United States and internationally who are pursuing a career in music. The distinction also will help our department attract and retain elite faculty," Brown said.
Trish Cunetto, the education college's development director, praised Anderson's gift as "a wonderful way to help others have access to these magnificent Steinway instruments to nurture their talent."
She said it is excellent example of how "individuals may honor or memorialize a loved one, former professor or classmate with gifts for the purchase of these prestigious instruments."
Others desiring to support the All-Steinway Initiative may contact Cunetto at 662-325-6762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about music education at Mississippi State, visit http://music.msstate.edu/academics/.
Complete details on MSU are available at www.msstate.edu.