FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) –Southwestern Seminary treated guests to an intimate concert experience, Oct. 20, as students, faculty and trustees of the institution played pieces on seven Steinway pianos. The evening highlighted the seminary’s progress toward becoming an “All-Steinway” school, which represents Southwestern’s dedication to musical excellence and investing in future generations.
“On its way to becoming an All-Steinway School, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary through its School of Church Music sponsored a unique concert/fundraiser featuring one grand piano in the rotunda and seven pianos on the platform,” seminary president Paige Patterson said.
“Ron Losby, the president of Steinway & Sons-Americas, joined us all the way from New York City to play one of those pianos, and he was joined by our students, professors and one of our trustees in this unique concert, with the audience seated on the platform among the pianos. What a unique and wonderful concept, and what a wonderful concert!”
George Tynes, pastor of Truth Baptist Church in Philadelphia and current trustee from Pennsylvania-South Jersey, played a rousing rendition of “Kumbaya.” Additionally, T. Bob Davis, a dentist and former trustee, and Steinway Artist Stephen Nielson played pieces.
School of Church Music Dean Stephen Johnson said the decision to become an All-Steinway school began as the seminary evaluated the need to replace many of their older, worn-out pianos. Over the years, students and professors have subjected these pianos to hours upon hours of practices and performances. The seminary wanted to purchase new pianos that not only would last well into the future but would also provide students with the best training possible.
“When we looked at all the different options, Steinway pianos—if they are maintained—will last more than 100 years,” Johnson said.
“The other brands wear down every 20-30 years, so you end up paying more over time for an arguably lesser instrument. We’re hoping that by making the investment now, then we will alleviate the burden of the seminary having to buy pianos for another 100 years.
“Being an All-Steinway school is a rather exclusive group. What it signifies is Southwestern’s commitment to the quality of training that we want to provide our students. Not everybody is going to have a Steinway at their church, but when they come to school, we want to have the best equipment to train students because you never know where God is going to send them.”