UF School of Music enters new decade as 'All-Steinway School'
An initiative started in 2002 results in acquisition of the largest collection of Steinway and Sons pianos in Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida School of Music will enter 2010 as an “All-Steinway School” and the owner of the largest collection of Steinway & Sons pianos in Florida.
By becoming an “All-Steinway School,” UF will be one of only three schools in Florida that have obtained this designation and will join the ranks of esteemed music programs around the country such as The Juilliard School, Yale University School of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory. The University of Central Florida and University of West Florida also hold this designation.
Steinway is known throughout the world for its high standard of excellence. Its products are considered the best keyboard instruments for training students and are the choice of 90 percent of the world’s performing concert pianists.
School of Music keyboard faculty traveled to New York Dec. 2-3 to select 18 grand pianos among 61 pianos that will be delivered to the UF School of Music today. The pianos will be unpacked, placed and tuned in time for the students’ return for the spring semester.
The need for new pianos is long overdue. UF School of Music’s “Steinway Initiative” was formalized in 2002 by School of Music Director John Duff, College of Fine Arts faculty and administration with the support of private donors including UF Friends of Music.
“The piano is the foundation to the required training of all music majors at University of Florida, including music education,” remarked Duff. “Every student receives fundamental training in piano performance and the instruments are also essential in all instruction including music appreciation, theory, history and listening. The designation of University of Florida as an ‘All-Steinway School’ will be a strong factor in our ability to recruit and elevate enrollment and, at last, our instruments will mirror the fine quality of our student and faculty musicians.”
School of Music piano professor Kevin Orr shared the sentiments of the keyboard faculty team: “Quality instruments inspire students, and puts them in the best position for productive, healthy practice. UF piano majors will finally enjoy a quality practice piano that parallels the feel and tone of the pianos they play in the teaching studio and on the concert stage. Furthermore, such a commitment by the School of Music cannot help but generate a sense of pride among students about the program. It’s an extreme morale booster.”
The $1.23 million purchase of 61 new Steinway and Sons pianos has been financed through a loan to the School of Music by the University of Florida. The School of Music will pay the university back over the next seven years with funds generated primarily from equipment fees charged to students enrolled in courses that use the pianos.
Donations for the College of Fine Arts’ Steinway Initiative account are still being accepted and will ensure that the pianos are properly cared for and maintained for generations to come. For more information on how you can help, contact the UF College of Fine Arts Development Office at 352-846-1211 or call the School of Music at 352-392-0223.
- Andy Howard, email@example.com, 352-273-1489