School of Music receives new pianos, looking for donations

Megan Rozsa

After receiving the first donation of $300,000 from Provost Paul Gaston, the School of Music has collected $50,000 from the KSU Foundation for the Steinway piano transition.

The announcement about the $50,000 donation was made at Jerry Wong’s recital concert on Feb. 25 by School of Music Director Josef Knott. The school now has the ability to collect more of the pianos.

“I expect this to be a $1.6 million project,” Knott said. “And we still need more money.”

Knott said the collective donations make it easier to get more donors.

“We target the donors and take them a portfolio of the school,” Knott said. “They want to know what we already have started, and to tell them we have about $350,000 saved already gives them hope. They know that they are donating to something that has a potential for success.”

Knott said he would like to have all the pianos as soon as possible. It is, however, going to be a long-term process.

College of the Arts Dean Tim Chandler said the Steinways will attract more students and faculty to Kent.

“The pianos help attract more students and more quality students to the university,” Chandler said. “We would also attract more quality faculty members because they’re attracted to the best equipment. It’s a cumulative effect.”

The school will receive 10 pianos by the end of the month, Knott said. The school already has six.

Knott said he plans to gather donations from people such as alumni and friends of the school.

“When we ask people for money, we don’t ask for it right away,” Knott said. “You have to cultivate the friendship.”

Steinway approached Kent’s music program and did an evaluation of the pianos that Kent uses now, Chandler said. They knew it was time for a change.

“We had to replace the pianos eventually,” Chandler said. “So why not do it in a beneficial way?”

To make a donation to the School of Music, contact development officer Laura Gaines at 672-2760.

Contact performing arts reporter Megan Rozsa at [email protected].