MACON – Legendary concert pianist Ann Schein will hold the inaugural concert on Mercer’s University’s first Steinway D grand piano on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Neva Langley Fickling Hall. Mercer’s Townsend School of Music has made a commitment to become an All-Steinway school, joining a select group of colleges and universities worldwide to acquire all Steinway pianos, which are the preferred instruments of concert artists worldwide and the recognized hallmark for superior musicianship.
“The quality of a music school’s pianos is, in part, a reflection of its priorities. The excellence of our faculty and students, the elegance of our building and recital hall, the reputation of our program and graduates – all require that we invest in the very best pianos for our School,” said Dean John H. Dickson. “The consistently increasing levels of artistry among faculty, students, and programs require artistic instruments that only Steinway can ensure.”
Schein was on the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore from 1980 to 2000. Schein’s career has earned her high praise in major American and European cities and in more than 50 countries around the world. Schein is also the teacher of Elizabeth Pridgen, who holds the G. Leslie Fabian Chair of Music and is the piano chair at Mercer’s McDuffie Center for Strings. Tickets to the event are $25 general admission, free with Mercer ID and can be purchased through Mercer Ticket Sales at (478) 301-5470.
The $1 million investment will provide 40 new Steinways for the school. All of the investment will be raised through private support. To date, $125,000 has been raised, which was used to acquire the Steinway D grand piano that is the new performance piano in Fickling Hall.
“We are most grateful for this first significant gift toward our initiative to become an All-Steinway School,” Dr. Dickson said. “This beautiful new concert grand will raise the bar for performance artistry in Fickling Hall and, hopefully, become the inspirational seed for others to contribute to this worthy goal.”
Carol Goff, Townsend’s chair of keyboard studies and coordinator of collaborative piano, called the gift of the concert piano, and the School’s commitment, historic. “The gift of this piano brings a new creative freedom that will enable every area of music in our School to rise to a new level of musicianship,” she said. “We are deeply grateful. The whole Macon community, and beyond, will benefit from this stunning gift for many, many years to come.”
About Townsend School of Music
Mercer is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Mercer’s Townsend School of Music and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies in Church Music offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. The School is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities and is home to the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.