Perspectives

All Auburn, All Steinway Campaign to Benefit Auburn University Students and Faculty 

Photo of Dr. Jeremy Samolesky performing on a Steinway and Sons piano, onstage.
Pictured above: Dr. Jeremy Samolesky performs on a Steinway & Sons piano 


Auburn University seeks to become an “All-Steinway School,” a prestigious designation bestowed by Steinway & Sons to those institutions who, like Steinway, are committed to excellence. The greatest impact of being an All-Steinway School will be felt by students and faculty, who will have the opportunity of a lifetime to learn, practice, and perform on the highest-caliber equipment available. 

To earn the All-Steinway School designation, 90 percent of the Department of Music’s piano inventory must be Steinway-made. To achieve this, the All Auburn, All Steinway Campaign seeks to raise $3 million to purchase 57 new Steinway pianos, replacing the department’s current inventory. Funds also will be allocated toward a required maintenance program, which includes a dedicated Steinway piano technician to ensure the instruments are kept in optimal performance quality condition for generations to come. 

“Becoming an All-Steinway School would provide a phenomenal opportunity for students to realize their full artistic and musical potential,” said Jeremy Samolesky, professor of piano and head of keyboard studies at Auburn University. “About 95 percent of the world’s concert stages have Steinways, so we would be preparing students for what they will experience at the highest professional level."

Auburn’s music faculty and students average more than 100 concerts annually and work and train on stage, in recital halls, and in practice rooms. Like a scientist, these spaces are their laboratories and crucial to their educational experience is the proper equipment — the piano. 

“The piano is the most important piece of equipment in a music department. It is the one instrument that touches every student and faculty member,” College of Liberal Arts Dean Joseph Aistrup said. “Although our pianos have been well cared for, they have been very well used. Now is the time for Auburn students and faculty to experience a musical education that only a Steinway can provide.” 

A gift to the All Auburn, All Steinway campaign sends the message to students, faculty and the community that Auburn University and its passionate network of supporters are committed to the highest levels of excellence and quality. 

“The All-Steinway School designation is the standard for excellence in musical instruction and is invaluable in recruiting the most talented national and international faculty and students to Auburn University,” said Rick Good, chair of the Department of Music. 

For more than 160 years, Steinway & Sons have hand-crafted each Steinway piano with great care and pride, achieving continuous innovation and improvement. Each Steinway piano has its own musical character and is as unique as the individual who plays it. 

“Investing in Steinway pianos is a sound financial decision. Steinways are known for their durability, versatility, and stability,” Good said. 

A successful All Auburn, All Steinway campaign places Auburn University within an elite group of colleges, schools and conservatories worldwide — including Yale School of Music, The Julliard School, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music. 

“The Department of Music dedicates itself to providing opportunities for musically talented students to develop as music educators, performers, composers, and research scholars,” Good said. “A Steinway is an instrument of the highest expression and creativity, and Auburn students and faculty deserve nothing less.” 

Performances and outreach programs offered by the Auburn University Department of Music provide cultural enrichment locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. 

“Every single student would be affected by this. It doesn't matter if you’re a voice student, a clarinet student, or trombone, you're going to perform with piano every single year of your musical study,” Samolesky said. “I think becoming an All-Steinway School shows that an institution really cares about its students by providing them with the best possible instruments for their musical studies." 

Gifts to the All Auburn, All Steinway Campaign can be made online at AuburnGiving.org/Steinway 

Gifts by check can be made payable to “Auburn University Foundation” with “All Auburn, All Steinway” noted in the memo line and mailed to: Auburn University Foundation, 317 S. College Street, Auburn, AL 36849. 

 

Listen to our podcast interview with Dr. Samolesky here (be sure to listen all the way to the end!): 

 

Written by Vicky Santos, director of news and media services in the College of Liberal Arts. 

Last Updated: November 09, 2018