Continuing a Rich Tradition, Moravian College Becomes an All-Steinway School

New Steinway pianos make history in the hallowed halls of Moravian College. Image courtesy of John Kish IV Photography.

As seen in the Winter/Spring 2014 edition of the Steinway Chronicle.

Moravian College tells a uniquely American story as one of the newest All-Steinway Schools.

Imbued with the teachings of John Amos Comenicus, followers of Protestant martyr John Hus left central Europe for what would become Bethlehem; a rural settlement situated about 60 miles outside Philadelphia. The highly innovative Comenicus viewed education as a vehicle of salvation, and schools became a cornerstone in the New World. Modern-day Moravian traces its lineage to humble beginnings as a girls’ boarding school in May, 1742.

Music laid the foundation for religious services and cultural engagements. Among the Music Department’s many notable structures, the Single Brethren’s House served as a hospital during the Revolutionary War, meriting a visit from General George Washington in 1783. Later, in his second term as president, Washington would petition Moravian to admit two of his grand nieces.

Such precious heritage deserves only the best programs, faculty and instruments possible, according to one proud alumnus.

“As the sixth oldest college in the country, Moravian has a rich and vibrant history that fits well with the Steinway brand,” says President Bryon Grigsby, Class of 1990. “We could not be prouder to join the All-Steinway program and continue in the traditions of excellence that were established by our founders.”

Gathered around a celebratory cake at the All-Steinway School celebration are (Front) representatives of the Aierstock family: Madeline Koch, Peg Moore, Patty Moore Koch, Larry Koch, Peter Koch and Anna Baker. (rear) Jacobs Music Company of Philadelphia: Chris Rinaldi, President and Valerie Vogt, Vice-President of Steinway Sales with Moravian President Byron Grigsby and Sally Coveleskie of Steinway & Sons.

Moravian completed their All-Steinway School initiative with a gift from late alumna Betty Louise Aierstock Moore, whose family generously donated $350,000 for new pianos. Students are extremely enthusiastic when playing instruments by Steinway & Sons, says Music Department Chair Dr. Hilde M. Binford: “They have become a bit protective of them, which is all to the good.”

Dr. Honnie Spencer, a native of Antigua who also graduated from Moravian in 1990 with dual degrees in biology and piano performance, recently donated a Model M, bringing the total number of instruments on campus to 28. After receiving her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, she is combining both passions in life, opening a medical clinic while giving free lessons to young musicians at the Logan Community Music School in Winston- Salem, N.C.

Facilities Manager E. Blair Flintom is widely recognized as the pioneer who championed the All-Steinway cause from its infancy. “I was able to help create a legacy for future students and faculty that I could not have done on my own. They won’t know me or the wonderful people and organizations that were responsible for this legacy, but they will know about their college’s musical heritage and its unwavering commitment to excellence,” he said.

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