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Concert Kicks Off Campaign
to Make UW-Eau Claire an All-Steinway School

RELEASED: Sept. 27, 2007

Student David Hurd playing piano
UW-Eau Claire music student David Hurd plays one of the university's Steinway concert grand pianos. Hurd will be one of the student performers in the Oct. 7 concert kicking off the university's campaign to become an All-Steinway School. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Bill Hoepner)

EAU CLAIRE — A concert featuring University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire piano faculty members and piano performance students will kick off the first phase of a UW-Eau Claire Foundation campaign to make the university's department of music and theatre arts an All-Steinway School.

The concert, to be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 7 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center, will include solos, duets and piano ensembles for four and eight hands as well as a collaborative piece with Paul Kosower, faculty cellist.

The concert will demonstrate the quality of Steinway pianos by featuring UW-Eau Claire's two existing Steinway concert grand pianos. To accomplish the All-Steinway School distinction, the university must use Steinway pianos in faculty studios, classrooms, practice rooms and performance venues.

"The university has a reputation for excellence in music, and becoming an All-Steinway School is another way of ensuring that standard will continue," said Donald Patterson, keyboard division coordinator in the department of music and theatre arts. "Having Steinway instruments throughout the department would be a wonderful learning aid for our students."

There is a great need for the campaign, said Bob Knight, chair of the department of music and theatre arts. "A recent survey revealed that many of our 82 pianos have passed the point of being rebuilt or refurbished and need to be replaced," he said.

The first phase of the All-Steinway School campaign would place two Steinway grand pianos in the studio of each of the university's five piano faculty members, for a total of 10 pianos. The funding goal for this phase, to be completed by Dec. 31, 2008, is $500,000.

The long-term plan would replace one of the university's two existing Steinway concert grand pianos, place an additional six to eight Steinway grand pianos and eight Steinway upright pianos in music classrooms and applied teaching studios, and furnish practice rooms with 28 Steinway-designed Boston pianos and four Steinway grand pianos. The funding goal for this phase, to be completed by Sept. 1, 2010, is $1.5 million.

"Having Steinway pianos throughout the department means students would always experience the same good quality of action, response and sound," Patterson said. "It would make their experience consistent as they practice, play in the studio during lessons and perform in recital."

The Oct. 7 concert, in addition to demonstrating the quality of the Steinway instruments, should be very entertaining, Patterson said.

"We are including pieces people might know in other settings — we will be including some lively pieces from operas and ballets as well as opening and closing with familiar overtures. The concert should be very appealing to the audience as they consider helping UW-Eau Claire meet the challenge to become an All-Steinway School."

After the concert the public will be able to view some of the pianos the department is hoping to replace. The concert is free and open to the public.

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KH

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