Southwestern celebrates first Keyboards & Carols as ‘All-Steinway School’
The beginning of December marks a special time of year for the Southwestern School of Church Music. During the annual Keyboards & Carols at Christmas concert, Dec. 2, the nearly sold-out MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center resonated with the sounds of favorite Christmas songs. Concertgoers were treated to a variety of music styles from the International Children’s Choir, the Southwestern Master Chorale, and 59 pianists who played on 19 Steinway grand pianos, which filled the stage of MacGorman Chapel.
“I am so happy you are here tonight,” Dean of the School of Church Music Leo Day told attendees. “Why do we go through all of this labor of love? Because Christmas is my favorite time of the year. We love you, and we love Jesus.”
Special guests Marquis Laughlin and Dino Kartsonakis performed alongside Southwestern musicians. Laughlin, performance artist and founder of Acts of the Word ministries, delivered moving recitations of verses from Genesis, Matthew and Luke. Kartsonakis, two-time Grammy Award nominee and one-time Grammy Award winner, joined in with his own piano performances of songs including “The Christmas Song” and “Birthday of the King.”
This year’s Christmas concert held special significance, as it was the first following the seminary’s distinction as an “All-Steinway School,” a title held by fewer than 200 institutions worldwide. Now with 77 Steinway & Sons pianos throughout campus, students and faculty have the unique opportunity of playing on “the finest” instruments, Day said.
“So tonight, we are celebrating,” Day continued. “We gather in this place tonight to give thanks to the Lord for His abundant goodness to us.”
Bryan Elmore, who serves as institutional director for Steinway Hall in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, joined the evening’s festivities, bringing a word from Steinway & Sons. “On behalf of nearly 400 Steinway & Sons employees, President of Steinway Ron Losby, and President of Steinway Hall of Dallas/Fort Worth Daniel Saliba, I want to say thank you to the administration, faculty, donors and students at Southwestern for choosing Steinway & Sons.”
Elmore particularly recognized the efforts of Dorothy Patterson in achieving this goal and unique status for Southwestern’s School of Church Music. He said, “Her immovable faith and irresistible passion have paved the way for students and faculty to play on only the best pianos in the world.”