The John M. Long School of Music has announced the All-Steinway Initiative, a plan to replace current pianos with only those of the Steinway brand.
A fundraising concert is currently being planned, and new pianos will be purchased and phased in as the money is raised, with $1 million being the total goal.
Director of the School of Music Larry Blocher said, “One of the next steps of academic excellence is making sure our students have the opportunity to play on the best instruments possible. Not just our pianists—folks who are piano majors—but all our faculty and students because most of our students will touch a piano in some way and many of them will go on to perform on the piano, so it’s another step for us towards academic excellence.”
“I don’t think it’s only important for the music department but for the entire university,” said Hui-Ting Yang, the piano professor in the school of music.
“We want to be an academically excellent school. So we need to have a really good facility to offer our students and also attract more and more students to come to Troy to study.”
Yang said Steinway pianos are set apart by “the quality of the instruments, because of the sounds. The instrument itself is just like when you’re driving a car—it drives like a Mercedes. You prefer the Toyota, Honda or Mercedes; that’s the comparison. So as a musician, as a pianist myself, when I sit at the piano I can tell this is different because there’s this really subtle sensitivity.”
Blocher said that when you think of the highest quality instrument in a particular field, Steinway is the standard of excellence in the piano world.
Each instrument has its equivalent to Steinway with various instruments having different names but the Steinway brand and name has been around long enough to internationally be established as the standard in piano excellence.
Zach Smith, a freshman music education major from Wetumpka, said, “It would be nice if all our pianos were the same, high-quality brand.”
“I would love to invite everybody to come to our Steinway Initiative fundraising concert,” Yang said.
“I may play in the concert and some of my students will play in the concert to demonstrate to the audience, to the potential donors, that this is the piano and ask them to listen to the quality of the sound and see this is the reason we really need this instrument.”