Missouri State University has made a big addition to the Springfield arts community.
The Board of Governors in July approved a contract to buy new Steinway & Sons pianos, considered around the world as the ultimate performance instruments.
Missouri State will be one of only four schools in Missouri to have All-Steinway status by the end of the year.
“Music can touch souls, uplift and soothe spirits, stir passions, generate new ideas and create inclusiveness and collaboration,” said Dr. Julie Combs, department head and professor of music. “We want our students to have the best equipment as they go forward to re-invent their world.”
The plan and benefits
The university plans to acquire several makes of Steinways that will replace its current pianos. Many are more than 50 years old and beyond the point of restoration. The new pianos include:
- One Steinway D (7-foot grand) for the C. Minor Recital Hall in Ellis Hall
- Six Steinway B models (6-1/2 foot grands), two for each of the three piano faculty teaching studios
- Five M models (5-1/2 foot grands) for piano major practice rooms
- Ten Boston (5-1/2 foot) grands: five in faculty voice studios, four in per-course voice studios, and one in the Wehr Band Hall jazz room
- Twenty-seven Boston uprights in practice rooms and classrooms in Ellis and Wehr halls
Becoming an All-Steinway school provides at least four benefits: Performance quality, recruitment, investment value, and perception and image.
— Clif Smart (@ClifSmart) July 18, 2018
The university expects the purchase to have a positive effect on national accreditation, help recruit the best music students and faculty, complement Ellis Hall, and enhance Missouri State’s status as a destination campus.
“We believe in our students,” said Dr. Shawn Wahl, interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “There are no limits to what they may accomplish, which is why we’re committed to giving them the best training with highly skilled faculty and instruments of the highest quality.”