Chowan Makes Way for the Steinway
MURFREESBORO, NC – Nearing 2:00 pm on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, Chowan University celebrated the arrival of a new Steinway piano in Turner Auditorium, McDowell Columns Hall. Dr. Kirk Peterson, President, and a conglomerate of excited onlookers witnessed school history as the piano was unveiled on the stage. Even before the instrument’s assembly process was completed, the awestruck faces of beneficiaries, donors, instructors and students alike were visible in the polished piano’s unblemished reflection. With the protective wrappings removed, Chancellor White properly initiated the instrument into Chowan University’s care by playing the classic hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”. Following Chancellor White, several other pianists timidly approached the gorgeous piano to play, feel, and experience its qualities. And as Chowan’s musicians left the first fingerprints on its ivory keys, the Steinway’s inauguration into Turner Auditorium was complete.
Mrs. Elaine Myers and daughter Paige along with Mrs. Jane Newsome were among the eager crowd of spectators who patiently watched the tedious unloading and assembly processes. As well as being generous financial contributors, the women were also influential in selecting the new Steinway. They, along with Mrs. Linda Weaver, accompanied a group of Chowan affiliated individuals to the Steinway & Sons Factory in New York where they painstakingly examined some of the world’s finest pianos.
Ultimately, the nine-foot Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand Piano that now sits in Turner Auditorium was chosen primarily based on its incredible touch and tone. When played, the piano’s keys possessed a superior, unmatched quality. Joshua Bryant, a senior music major, had the opportunity to be the first student to play the new Steinway. He described the piano as having an incredibly “bright tone” that’s touch and sound capabilities took his breath away.
The addition of this newest Steinway is one step closer to the University achieving its goal of being an all Steinway school. With the help of the most recent, generous donations, Chowan is four pianos closer to this accomplishment. This campaign that started five years ago, began with the hopes of elevating the quality of music as well as enhancing the Chowan experience. Becoming an all Steinway school illustrates how Chowan University prides itself on providing the best for its students. Keith Pendergraft, institutional representative with Hopper Piano and Organ Company in Raleigh, NC, acknowledged that their brand is “associated with prestige and quality”. To be an all Steinway school is the musical pinnacle of providing students the greatest opportunities for learning, experience, and success.