Arts and Entertainment Editor
Steinway pianos are some of the highest-quality pianos sold today, and Troy received 29 Steinway pianos on Monday, Feb. 23.
Troy University became a Steinway School, and Steinway Schools are defined as institutions that have only Steinways or Steinway-designed pianos such as Boston or Essex in their inventory.
The John M. Long School of Music hosted an event titled “A Star Spangled Celebration” on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in honor of the arrival of the pianos.
Troy University is one of five schools in Alabama that are considered Steinway schools, and it also one of 162 completely Steinway schools in the world. Troy University is 17th in the world to become a Steinway school featuring only Steinways.
“We started thinking about this three years ago,” said Larry Blocher, dean of communication and fine arts. “And within the last year, we’ve really intensified our efforts.”
To begin the process, Blocher had to find a Steinway partner, and found one in Birmingham. The Long School of Music had to talk to the administration to convince officials of the need to move forward with the project.
He said it was a team effort to get this project off the ground.
“We are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, and one of the standards requires pianos of a certain quality,” Blocher said.
Blocher said that having these pianos will benefit the community.
“The ramifications are huge, and we’re just getting started in that,” Blocher said.
Blocher said that these pianos will attract more students to enroll at Troy, in combination with the faculty of the Long School of Music.
“Because I’m a piano student, I’m really really excited that we finally get the best instruments at Troy,” said Jonathon Steinman, a senior music education major from New Hope.
“It was a remarkable experience for all of us,” said Chancellor Jack Hawkins. “It will be a night we shall remember, probably forever, because of the significance and the quality that this purchase represents.”
The outstanding balance of this purchase is $750,000. This is after the purchase of 29 Steinway pianos, two of which are the first two Steinway Sterling Silver grand pianos.
Hawkins traveled to Long Island, New York, to visit the Steinway Gallery.
“The people at Steinway, the craftsmen … there was longevity, there was pride,” Hawkins said. “The pride that they took in creating these beautiful instruments was really encouraging.”
Hawkins said that he felt that he was making an investment that would last a lifetime.
“It reflects the standard that we strive to achieve,” Hawkins said. “We want our students to have the best. We want them to be the best.”
Hawkins said in his speech at the event that the Steinway is the Rolls-Royce in the world of music.
“There are many brands of piano that we could have purchased that are far less in terms of financial investment,” said Hawkins. “What we have experienced through the Steinway is that you really get what you paid for.
“Excellence is achieved one person at a time, and one instrument at a time.”