Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Of Music Rallies Community To All-Steinway Goal

As seen in the Winter 2016 edition of the Steinway Chronicle.

BEREA, OH – With more than $5,000 for the last piano coming through online fundraising, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music euphorically reached what Dean Susan Van Vorst hailed as the Promised Land.

BW's $3.4 million All-Steinway initiative began January 27, 2014 – the coldest day of the year in northeast Ohio when a dozen new pianos from the Steinway Piano Gallery of Cleveland arrived at the Boesel Musical Arts Center.  Things heated up quickly as faculty and students experienced the joys of the new instruments, and word spread about plans to upgrade 88 pianos in its inventory.  Dr. Robert Mayerovitch, Keyboard Program Coordinator, said the new pianos “have a positive difference in the way our students practice, listen, perform and imagine.”

Left: Peter Siewertsz van Reesema plays “Embraceable You.” Right: From left, Ted Good and Bruce Sumwalt, Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland; Dan Onnen, Steinway & Sons; Jeff Krill, concert piano technician; Joe Mijailovic, building supervisor; Sally Coveleskie, Steinway & Sons: Mark Graham, piano technician; Catherine Good, Steinway Piano Gallery Cleveland; Dean Van Vorst, BW Trustee Stephen Boesel ‘68 and Robert Helmer, President of Baldwin Wallace University.

All told, more than 140 donors contributed to the cause. Bookend estate gifts from two passionate BW devotees laid the cornerstone for All-Steinway success: In 1933, Arline Kadel proudly sang at BW's first-ever Bach Festival. After receiving her music degree she enjoyed a rewarding career educating high school students, contributing a strong voice to the arts community well into her 80s.

Ms. Kadel bequeathed $2.7 million to her cherished conservatory, a portion for the piano purchase.  The idea of having a Steinway campus truly resonated with Jacquelyn Jean Fynes Boesel.  As a teacher, music brought her much joy in so many different ways.  Along with alum husband Stephen Boesel, her tremendous generosity brought the goal within reach.  At a stirring convocation ceremony in October, Peter Siewertsz van Reesema, a music theory major, thanked Mr. Boesel and dedicated “Embraceable You” to the memory of his wife.

The new pianos “have a positive difference in the way our students practice, listen, perform and imagine.”

“Intentional excellence and extraordinary engagement are deeply held values at BW,” Dean Van Vorst said. “We are blessed with a spirited community committed to excellence and the best possible training for our students.  When trustees, alumni, parents and friends witness the growth and accomplishment of our students, they want to support that success.  I have no doubt the All-Steinway campaign provided a powerful message to those considering the BW Conservatory of Music as the best choice for their undergraduate training,” she said.

Founded in 1845 with a gift from John Baldwin, whose mother was denied admission to an eastern university, BW was one of the first colleges in the nation to admit students without regard to race or gender. That spirit of inclusion still thrives in an environment where deep and meaningful connections, bold thinking and creative expression are embraced each day.

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