Sounds Of Steinway At Wayland Baptist Divinely Transform The High Plains
As seen in the Winter 2016 edition of the Steinway Chronicle.
PLAINVIEW, TX – A palpable sense of excitement still permeates Wayland Baptist University, where students and faculty are marking their first anniversary as an All-Steinway School. Nearly 30 pianos by Steinway & Sons equip the home campus, named after Dr. and Mrs. James Wayland, who donated land to open a Baptist school in 1906.
“I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that we are a completely different school having completed the All-Steinway journey,” said Dr. Richard Fountain, Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano. “Perhaps the biggest impact is also the most subtle; our singers and instrumentalists can focus more on line, tone, and color while working with our new Steinway pianos. It makes the jobs of ensemble directors and applied teachers much easier when their pianos inspire high-quality musicianship. This was simply not a reality with our old instruments.”
Wayland music student Meghan Robinette
Associate Professor Dr. Richard Fountain is the principal keyboardist for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra.
“Excellence begets excellence,” said Ann Stutes, Dean of the Wayland School of Music. “The Steinway instruments that now fill our concert halls, teaching studios, classrooms and practice rooms motivate our students and faculty to reach new heights. Our Steinway instruments inspire our musicians to excel as they, in turn, will inspire others long after they leave our campus,” she said.
“I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that we are a completely different school having completed the All-Steinway journey.”
Implementing Steinway’s 88-keys fundraising plan, Wayland acquired a Model D concert grand and Wayland s Friends of Music – passionately led by Joe and Freda Provence – raised nearly $630,000 to achieve the ultimate goal. Donors, administrators, faculty and students all played invaluable roles, according to Dr. Stutes.
Bryan Elmore, Director of Institutional Sales for Steinway Piano Gallery of Dallas/
Fort Worth/ Plano, suggested breaking the campaign into four phases, each with a specific outcome. “Bryan’s vision and prayerful leadership helped us articulate our desires and consistently guided us toward the finish line,” said Dr. Stutes, who shared Wayland’s story at Steinway’s 2015 Keys to Finding Funds Seminar in New York.
Dr. Kenneth Freeman, Assistant Professor of Piano, first learned of Wayland's All-Steinway status when he interviewed for the position. “This fact showed me the importance the School of Music placed on quality as well as their relentless pursuit of excellence,” he said. In an extremely competitive market for future music majors, “this designation is a critical selling point as we seek to entice young talent to Plainview,” adds Dr. Fountain.