Special piano performances to celebrate Steinway Week March 14-21 at Eastern Michigan

Fundraising activities continue to further goal of becoming an all-Steinway School

by Pamela Young, Published March 03, 2014

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YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University faculty and guest pianists will kick off a week of special performances in honor of Steinway Week March 14-21 at the University.

Steinway Week consists of a variety of activities designed to further Eastern Michigan’s goal of becoming an all-Steinway School.  The University has been purchasing Steinway pianos – considered the best in the world - to train students interested in becoming professional performers, music educators, music therapists and dancers.

Artists performing during Steinway Week include:

  • Guest pianist Aaron Tan, who opens the week with a special performance Friday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in Eastern’s Alexander Recital Hall. Tan’s repertoire ranges from Renaissance England to 20th century America. Highlights will include the late F Major sonata by Mozart, Samuel Barber’s Excursions and Robert Schumann’s Toccata in C.
  • EMU piano professors Anne Beth Gajda and Garik Pedersen will host their annual faculty piano recital Sunday, March 16 at 4 p.m. in Pease Auditorium with selections by Beethoven, Schubert, Janacek, Hadyn, Kapustin and Debussy.
  • Joel Schoenhals, EMU professor of piano, continues his four-year performance journey of all of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas in a concert Friday, March 21 at 8 p.m. at Pease Auditorium.

Piano majors with one of the Steinway pianos

A reception follows both performances in Pease. All performances and receptions are free and open to the public.

EMU piano students also will host impromptu recitals daily at the Student Center during Steinway Weekto raise awareness of the campaign.

The Steinway Campaign at Eastern is a broad fundraising effort by students and staff of the EMU Department of Music & Dance.  The most recent effort resulted in the purchase of eight new vertical pianos in fall 2013.  The goal is to raise $2 million to replace or restore the department’s inventory of pianos.

Piano students have hosted a variety of projects to raise funds including their “One Dime at a Time,” campaign that raised funds from returnable pop bottles and cans, and selling T-shirts and sweatshirts.

The latest effort is an online funding campaign, “88 Days: EMU Steinway Project,” that brings awareness to their efforts. Students hope to raise $8,800. The campaign runs through April 4, with donations going directly towards the purchase of a new practice room piano for piano majors.

“We are excited about expanding our fundraising and bring awareness of our campaign to a wider audience,” said Sarah Hamilton, a graduate student in piano.

Donations to the “88 Days” campaign can be made at www.gofundme.com/emupiano

Steinway & Sons has been linked to the world’s best pianos for more than 150 years. The pianos are individually handmade and are known for their distinct sound, lasting quality and increasing value.

The Steinway Campaign at Eastern Michigan emphasizes the University’s commitment to providing students and faculty with the finest pianos on the market, at a time when equipment needs are high.  It also helps the University recruit top student musicians and continue to build its reputation in the world of arts education.

To donate or learn more about the Steinway Campaign at EMU, please visit www.emich.edu/musicdance/donate/steinway or watch the online video at http://youtu.be/kcmMA7BXLLo


Pamela Young

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