EWING, N.J. – Reflecting on a most rewarding career at the College of New Jersey, Dr. John C. Laughton is understandably proud to add an All-Steinway designation to a long list of accolades.

“The All-Steinway campaign gave us the opportunity to highlight the outstanding history of the music department at TCNJ and re-engage alumni and donors in a project that will have long-term future implications for the teaching and learning environment of the entire campus,” the outgoing Dean of the School of the Arts and Communication told The Chronicle. A classically-trained clarinetist, Dr. Laughton has been managing and producing academic programs, festivals, performances, and community economic development projects since the 1970s. He holds a doctorate in music from the University of Iowa and his work has taken him to Brazil, China, Russia, Great Britain and the Middle East.

Founded in 1855, TCNJ offers 50 undergraduate programs in seven schools, with degree offerings in music, music education, and performance. Becoming an All-Steinway School is just one more reason why TCNJ consistently ranks among top performing public institutions in a host of national surveys, Dr. Laughton said. 

From left: Dean John C. Laughton, TCNJ School of the Arts; Randy Brown, Jacobs Music; Steinway Artist Jon Nakamatsu; Gabrielle Kazze Rinaldi, executive VP; Robert Rinaldi, SVP, Jacobs Music.

“The All-Steinway campaign gave us the opportunity to highlight the outstanding history of the music department and re-engage alumni and donors in a project that will have long-term future implications for the entire campus.”

"Our students are thrilled and especially grateful for the new instruments,” Dr. Laughton said, adding “the level of performances has jumped exponentially, as evidenced by having Jon Nakamatsu kick off and conclude the campaign on our new Steinway concert grand piano.”Moreover, achieving All-Steinway recognition aligns with TCNJ’s mission to keep New Jersey’s most talented students while attracting exceptional students from out of state.

Working closely with Jacobs Music in Lawrenceville, the school ultimately replaced more than 50 pianos, some of which were over 40 years old. TCNJ fulfilled the initiative through a combination of budgeted funds and contributions from private donors.

“The level of performances has jumped exponentially, as evidenced by having steinway artist Jon Nakamatsu kick off the campaign on our new Steinway grand piano.”

“We are thrilled to see this multi-year commitment reach fruition with the completion of TCNJ’s All-Steinway campaign,” said Bob Rinaldi, Senior Vice President of Jacobs Music. “It could not have been accomplished without the vision and dedication of Dean John Laughton.

I also want to express our appreciation to Tomoko Kanamaru, Associate Professor, Department of Music; Richard Kroth, Director of Arts Facilities, TCNJ Center for the Arts; and Mark Kalinowski, TCNJ Center for the Arts Multimedia Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor of Music, whose support and contributions greatly helped to make this possible. And it was very rewarding to see such a large turnout for the celebration concert, which demonstrated the meaningfulness of this designation to students, faculty, administrators, and the community.” 

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