UCM Named All-Steinway School
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG - 12/15/2006 - The enduring and unparalleled quality of the Steinway piano is legendary. With the recent acquisition of 22 new Steinway and Boston pianos, the University of Central Missouri has joined the elite group of All-Steinway Schools.
UCM Joins Elite Group
One of only 65 such colleges, universities and conservatories worldwide to earn the designation, UCM also becomes the only All-Steinway School in Missouri and Kansas.
New Grand Piano for Hart Recital Hall
Mia Hynes rehearses on the new 9-foot Steinway
Initial Acquisition Provides First Step
According to Lester Brothers, chair of the Department of Music, earning the designation as an All-Steinway School has been a longtime goal of the department and the College of Arts and Sciences. The first step toward that goal was taken in January 2006 with the initial acquisition of 26 Boston pianos for rehearsal rooms. The Boston piano also is made and distributed by Steinway.
The acquisition of the instruments was facilitated by Schmitt Music in Kansas City and funded with a 10-year lease purchase arrangement. Brothers said the department will rely on fundraising to assist with fulfillment of the final eight years of the lease-purchase arrangement.
Reputation for Excellence
Brothers said the designation as an All-Steinway School places the UCM Department of Music in the company of some of the best colleges, universities and conservatories in the world.
"The quality of the instruction in UCM's Department of Music has long been well-known in higher education," Brothers said. "The acquisition of these instruments marks a strong commitment by the university to providing the best opportunities for students studying music at UCM. It is a level of prestige of which we are very proud."
Piano Faculty Members Make Selections
Steinway crafts approximately 5,000 pianos per year worldwide, taking one full year to handcraft each piano at the Steinway factory in Long Island City, N.Y. Richard Smith, professor of music, and Mia Hynes, associate professor of music, accompanied Brothers on the trip to make the selection of the pianos. Smith and Hynes both teach piano in the Department of Music.
Improved Opportunities for Students, Guest Performers
"We first proposed becoming an All-Steinway School in 1991," Smith said. "Not only will this acquisition benefit our students, but we also will be able to provide excellent instruments for accompaniment." Smith said the addition of a second 9-foot grand piano for Hart Recital Hall gives performers and accompanists a choice of instruments, as well as offering the opportunity for two pianists to perform together.
"Every student that passes through our program has to learn to play the piano or perform with someone who does," Hynes said. "Now every student has access to a quality instrument. It reinforces that we're all about excellence at UCM, and the purchase of Steinway instruments makes sense."
"Achieving the status of an All-Steinway School has been a priority for many years," Boone said. "With this latest acquisition and the designation as an All-Steinway School, UCM will reap the benefits brought by such a mark of distinction."
For More Information
For more information on the UCM Department of Music and its program, contact the department at 660-543-4530.