Above: Legendary band director, Dr. John M. Long, conducts a performance of his signature “Stars & Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa arranged for 29 Steinway pianos.
A Troy Story: Eager Music Students Open Treasure Trove Of Steinways
As seen in the Winter 2016 edition of the Steinway Chronicle.
TROY, AL – Who could resist the allure of opening piano-sized packages? Certainly not the music students at Troy University. “What an awesome experience to be able to unbox the best pianos in the world,” said senior music education major Jonathan Steinman, surrounded by cardboard containers from 28 new Steinways at the John M. Long School of Music.
Dr. Long, Director of Bands Emeritus and founder of the “Sound of the South Marching Band,” energized an All-Steinway Star Spangled celebration in February. The Hall of Fame conductor graciously led faculty and students in a spirited arrangement of “Stars & Stripes Forever” performed exclusively on the new pianos.
Left: John Maloy Long Hall. Right: From left, Brandon Herrenbruck, Alabama Piano Gallery; Dr. Hui-Ting Yang, Professor of Piano; Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor of Troy University; Jan Metcalfe, Jon McClaran, and Bill Metcalfe, Alabama Piano Gallery.
Troy’s three-year All-Steinway campaign began in bold fashion with the selection of two new Sterling Steinways, acknowledging a rich period from 1853 to 1927 when nickel hardware adorned most pianos. The custom-made Model D and Model B high-polish grands also feature silver-toned cast-iron plates. With financial assistance from donors and the Troy University Foundation, Steinway grands and uprights are now found in every performance venue, rehearsal hall, teaching studio and practice room.
Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr., Senior Vice Chancellor Walter Givhan, Dean Larry Blocher, Drs. Jean Laliberte, Don Jeffrey, Earl Ingram, Jim Bookout, and Steinway Artist Dr. Hui-Ting Yang comprised Troy’s All-Steinway dream team. Jon McClaran of the Alabama Piano Gallery, Bill Metcalfe and Brandon Herrenbruck of the Alabama Piano Gallery ensured that all the elements were in place for a successful outcome.
“When we talk about the piano world, Steinways stand out, and the reason is because they have set an uncompromising standard,” Dr. Yang said, noting that 300 skilled artisans take about a year to handcraft each Steinway piano. “Steinway enjoys a standard of excellence unparalleled in the world of musical instruments – and it is the dedicated staff that makes it so,” Chancellor Hawkins said after a tour of the Steinway factory in Astoria.
“This is a critical piece to our recruiting package,” added Dr. Laliberte, Associate Vice Chancellor for Development. “Steinway is a mark of excellence and Troy stands for excellence.”