School raises money to complete piano collection

Kyle McDonald

Interim director for the School of Music said achieving All-Steinway status could happen by the end of 2010.

In February 2007, the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music began a campaign to become an all-Steinway piano school.

Achieving the All-Steinway status would match Kent State’s Excellence in Action campaign, said Denise Seachrist, interim director for the School of Music. Seachrist believes this goal could be complete by the end of 2010.

Steinway and Sons is the only piano manufacturer that completely handcrafts each instrument, taking a year to build each one, Seachrist said. “They’re definitely considered the top-quality instrument,” she added.

The high-quality pianos also come with a high price tag. With 12 pianos left to purchase, the remaining cost is more than $350,000. Funding the campaign has come in multiple ways.

For example, Hit the Right Chord gives donors the option to give anywhere from a $25 to a $100 donation. The School of Music also fundraises through performances and private events, recently holding one at the Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson, Ohio.

“People have really responded,” Seachrist said. “A lot of alumni and people who have long-standing (relationships) with Kent appreciate what we’re doing here.”

Jen Hasting, piano performance graduate student, performed at the Lake Forest Country Club fundraiser, doing so on a Steinway piano.

“The pianos produce a variety of sounds that’s sensitive to the individual performance,” Hasting said. “It’s really great that (Kent State) is doing this.”

Contact performing arts reporter Kyle McDonald at [email protected].