RADFORD, VA — Edward and Nancy Rice first learned of Radford University’s goal to become an all-Steinway school when they attended the November gala to open the new Douglas and Beatrice Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
The Rices were so struck by the university’s commitment to music study that they chose to help push along the initiative. Shortly after the gala, the Northern Virginia couple gifted a Steinway B to the Covington Center, adding to the performing arts center’s existing inventory of Steinway and Sons instruments.
Edward and his close friend David Warme, an accomplished pianist who has a passion for Liszt and Chopin, selected the Steinway B in late July at Jordan Kitts in Richmond, and the piano was delivered this week. Soon after the purchase, a representative from Steinway & Sons flew from New York for the afternoon to meet Edward and thank him for this contribution to RU.
(IN THE PHOTO: From left are Rosa Hudson, Regional Director of Institutional Sales at Jordan Kitt’s Music; Edward Rice; David Warme; Sally Coveleskie, National Director of Institutional Sales at Steinway & Sons, and Ken Saliba, Vice President of Institutional Sales of Jordan Kitt’s Music.)
The Rice’s are presenting the gift in honor of their dear friend and RU Board of Visitors member Mary Ann Hovis.
The new Steinway adds to a collection of seven at the Covington Center, which is home to two new Steinway D concert grand pianos. Five other pianos of various size and age are housed in Covington, including one that is 49 years old.
In order to be classified as an all-Steinway school, 90 to 95 percent of the university’s piano inventory must be Steinway & Sons, which means RU must replace more than 40 pianos. Once RU becomes an all-Steinway school, the university will join a prestigious list of music programs, including Yale School of Music, The Juilliard School, The School of Music at Carnegie-Mellon University and other state universities such as George Mason University and James Madison University.
For more than 150 years, Steinway & Sons has been a name associated with the world’s finest pianos. The instruments are all individually handmade and are known for their incomparable sound, performance and enduring quality.
The university’s move forward to become an all-Steinway school emphasizes the university’s commitment to providing students and faculty with the best pianos possible for the study of music. It also helps provide the university with an edge in the recruitment of top student musicians.