School of Music seeks donations to finish Steinway piano purchases

Sasha Chinchar

Kent State Hugh A. Glauser School of Music’s Steinway Music Campaign is going into its final phase. The school seeks to replace all its pianos with Steinway & Sons brand pianos to earn designation as an All-Steinway School.

“Steinway, by many, is considered the finest piano company, and so it fits with the president (Lester Lefton)’s excellence agenda,” said Denise Seachrist, director of the School of Music.

Only 120 schools and organizations in the country have All-Steinway designation, and the School of Music is raising money through the campaign to become one. The school has currently raised $1.7 million and bought 47 Steinway pianos. For the final phase, it needs to raise about $300,000 to buy 13 more.

“The goal was to finish by the beginning of the academic year,” Seachrist said. “It’s still the goal, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to meet that. We have had some events and money coming in, but haven’t had any major donors at this point. We’re making good progress.”

Once all of the pianos are in place, the All-Steinway designation will provide many benefits, including prestige and help with recruiting students to Kent State.

“It allows us to benefit from the Steinway name,” Seachrist said. “It gives us some marketing advantages we wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Jerry Wong, associate professor and Steinway artist in residence, said the designation would put the university “among an elite group of All-Steinway schools.

“This will serve as an invaluable tool to recruit students at Kent State,” Wong said.

Seachrist said the designation would bring in not only more students but better students, and it would help the existing students improve their skills.

“I think it shows that we’re providing our students with the best possible equipment,” Seachrist said.

As a Steinway artist, Wong endorses Steinway pianos and said he is proud to share the Steinway experience with his students.

“The tools that my students are using are at the exceptional level,” Wong said, “and students are able to be a part of that excellence.”

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Sasha Chinchar at [email protected].