BECOMING A STEINWAY SCHOOL
All-Steinway Schools demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best equipment possible for the study of music. That is why the only pianos owned by the institutions listed here — from the practice room to the recital hall — are designed by Steinway & Sons.
The University of Central Arkansas rolled out five new Steinway pianos in August 2010 as the university announced its commitment to become the next All-Steinway School in Arkansas, a distinction achieved by only 118 schools across the globe.
For more than 150 years, Steinway & Sons has remained the benchmark by which all other pianos are measured. They remain dedicated to the ideal of making each individual piano the finest in the world.
Steinway Pianos are handcrafted, involving more than 12,000 specific parts assembled by 450 people. Each Steinway grand piano takes nearly a year to create.
"The University of Central Arkansas saw a need for a high-quality piano program in the central part of the state and we are pleased that we have alumni and friends who have already stepped up to help us purchase these beautiful new Steinway pianos," Former UCA President Allen C. Meadors said. "With these pianos, we will be able to recruit some of the best students and faculty not only in the state, but also from around the world, to our music program. We will also be able to host some really wonderful performances like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in February."
During a press conference in the lobby of Snow Fine Arts Center, university officials announced a $1 million private fundraising campaign through the UCA Foundation to secure the funds needed to replace 90 percent of the university's remaining piano inventory with Steinway products. More than $400,000 has already been raised.
The first five pianos purchased are New York Steinways and include a 9-foot concert grand piano that will be for the concert stage and used during performances three to five times per week.
"One of our music professors, Dr. Neil Rutman, went to New York recently to play and select our pianos. He chose this particular 9-foot concert grand because it has a power and a warmth and a color to the sound that makes it unique in Arkansas," explained Dr. Jeff Jarvis, former chair of the music department. "We have purchased five great instruments, but this particular instrument is extraordinary. If you were a pianist who had played over the course of 30 to 40 years, this concert grand would give you pause because it's truly a special instrument."
In addition to the concert grand, UCA also rolled out two 7-foot grand pianos to be placed in teaching studios and two smaller grands for piano majors.
Private funds designated for this project will be used to purchase an additional 40 pianos that are a mix of Steinways built in New York and other Steinway facilities.
The pianos will be placed in studios, classrooms and recital halls throughout Snow Fine Arts Center and will benefit approximately 200 music majors along with an additional 100 non-music majors taking classes in the department.
"The College of Fine Arts and Communication and the Department of Music are delighted to have these New York Steinway pianos," said Dr. Rollin Potter, former dean of the college of fine arts and communication. "We determined about three years ago that the most serious need besides a new building for our fine arts program was new pianos because nearly everyone in the program uses them. The All-Steinway School program gives UCA the best product and the best maintenance plan."
With the proper care and maintenance of the pianos "which is required to become an All-Steinway School" the pianos should last 50 to 100 years. The university's current piano inventory, much of which is in need of replacement or repairs, are between 30 and 40 years old.
"We have received support from the Stella Boyle Smith Trust and other individual donors to begin this program," said Shelley Mehl, Vice President of Advancement. "The Steinway group has been a great partner and we look forward to raising the remaining funds to become an All-Steinway School as soon as possible."
For more information or to support this project, please contact Dr. Paige Rose, Department Chair at (501) 450-5750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONWAY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Named Sponsorship Opportunities are also available - please contact the CSO directly for details.
UCA BAND ALUMNI
The UCA Band Alumni plays an important role in the support and longevity of the UCA Bands. For more information on the UCA Band Alumni, click here.