During a chapel service, Sept. 18, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary showcased the newest addition to its School of Church Music and seminary chapel: a Steinway Concert Grand Piano Model D. The top-of-the-line piano, donated by friends of the seminary who wish to remain anonymous, replaces a piano that has served the institution well but “had three legs in the grave and the fourth on a banana peel,” remarked president Paige Patterson.

“It’s a pretty special thing that someone could recognize the importance of having a good tool that can help in the musical ventures of what we’re doing here at Southwestern,” said Stephen Johnson, dean of the School of Church Music. Music School faculty chose the piano with the seminary’s future chapel in mind. Noting that Steinway pianos are expected to last for more than 100 years and are the only pianos that do not lose their value, Johnson says this generous gift to the institution will be an investment that pays spiritual dividends for the next century.

“If you have a good tool,” Johnson says, “it can really affect change in the lives of the students and can really inspire people on many different levels. When you have donors who understand that, about the power of music and the importance of having good tools and what that does for the Gospel, it’s a tremendously special thing.”

As part of a prayer of dedication during the chapel service, Patterson prayed, “Thank you God for giving us men and women in our School of Church Music who are not committed merely to the arts but to the arts for Christ’s sake … for the cause of training young men and women to go to the ends of the earth to be a part of the worship of the churches wherever God’s Word is proclaimed and to proclaim that Word through music.”

Afterwards, Jill Sprenger, acting chair of the piano department at Southwestern, and Don Wyrtzen, chapel pianist and professor of church music, demonstrated the capabilities of the instrument through special music. The piano will be used for a variety of purposes, including chapel services, school programs and musical performances in Truett Auditorium.