Pianorama showcases faculty, student musicianship
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Faculty and students from Southwestern’s School of Church Music played all the right notes at the seminary’s “A Steinway Pianorama Christmas” concert, Dec. 6. Pianists tickled the ivories of eight Steinway grand pianos on the main stage in Truett Auditorium during the event, and eight additional Steinway pianos were played in the rotunda prior to the concert.
The performance, directed by Professor of Music Theory Jerry Aultman, featured more than 40 pianists of all ages, from preschool children in the Southwestern Music Academy to Southwestern students to faculty and special guests. Musicians played Christmas classics from various genres, including the fun, up-tempo “Sleigh Ride” to Handel’s majestic “Hallelujah” chorus.
Children in Southwestern’s Music Academy, a music preparatory program that serves as a testing center for the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program, played renditions of “Jingle Bells” and “Little Drummer Boy.” Jill Sprenger, professor of piano at Southwestern, serves as director of the academy, which is taught by seminary students and faculty.
Pianorama kept the crowd excited with stirring arrangements of well-known Christmas songs such as “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain.” Several of the pieces featured two pianists at each piano playing simultaneously. Special guest pianists for the evening included T. Bob Davis, a former seminary trustee, and Sue Mitz, professor of music at Dallas Baptist University.
The concert showcased Southwestern’s progress in becoming an All-Steinway music school —a distinction held by less than 150 institutions worldwide. Steinway pianos are known for their high quality as well as their longevity. A well-maintained Steinway piano can last for more than 100 years.
Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons – Americas, surprised the audience at the end of the concert as he came up on stage to play an exciting arrangement of Christmas songs alongside Aultman and other faculty.