UW-Platteville to showcase new Steinway D concert piano

October 25, 2013

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Steinway Piano

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — To celebrate and display the versatility of its new Steinway “D” concert piano, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts will host the Steinway Gala on Nov. 3 at the Center for the Arts from 3-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students.

The new Steinway “D” concert grand piano, a handmade, half-ton piano, was selected at the Steinway and Sons factory in Astoria, Queens, N.Y., by Dr. David Cooper, associate music professor and chair of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at UW-Platteville; Dr. Eugene Alcalay, associate professor of piano at UW-Platteville and Steinway Artist; and Dr. Elizabeth A. Throop, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education at UW-Platteville, in January. The following month, the piano made the 1,000-mile journey to UW-Platteville's Center for the Arts. 

“The new Steinway piano enriches every aspect of the university's music program,” said Cooper. “From large performing ensembles such as the concert bands, orchestra, jazz bands and choirs to small chamber music collaborations and solo recitals, this piano's significant contribution to our program is tangible each and every day.”

The Steinway Gala will include a special guest appearance by jazz pianist Dr. Johannes Wallmann, director of jazz studies at UW-Madison. Wallmann is a veteran of the New York and San Francisco Bay Area jazz scenes and has performed extensively as a bandleader and as a sideman in local, national and international venues. He has won numerous national music competitions and scholarships as well as two Canada Council artist grants. 

Steinway Gala repertoire will include instrumental and vocal performances by UW-Platteville music faculty members that feature the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Dmitri Shostakovich, Franz Schubert, Modest Mussorgsky, Johannes Brahms, Camille Saint-Saens, Louis Ballard, Thomas Pasatieri, Antonin Dvorak and more.

Highlights will include a horn trio featuring Dr. Carol Carlson, music lecturer, on violin, Dr. David Earll, music lecturer, on tuba, and Alcalay on piano; a sonata featuring Dr. Corey Mackey, lecturer of clarinet, on clarinet and Alcalay on piano; and a Katcina Dance featuring Dr. Jacqueline Wilson, assistant professor of music, bassoon and theory, on bassoon and Alcalay on piano.

The concert will also include performances by the UW-Platteville vocal ensemble Kassia: Women in Song, Dr. Susan Savage Day and Rebekah Demaree, sopranos, and Sharon Jensen, piano; the UW-Platteville chamber choir, conducted by Dr. Robert Demaree, director of choral activities, with Lucas Ensign, a senior vocal and general music education major at UW-Platteville from Freeport, Ill., on piano; and the UW-Platteville jazz band, conducted by Allen Cordingley, director of jazz studies.

Cooper stated that the UW-Platteville music program acknowledges and thanks the many benefactors who have made the addition of the Steinway piano possible. Opportunities are available to support the purchase of the piano through the Steinway Fund, a special fund created by the UW-Platteville Foundation to help support the continued financing of the piano.

“The arts are the heart and soul of any community, and the addition of this remarkable instrument brings exciting opportunities to the university,” said Throop. “Unlike many other institutions, we are able to showcase the talents of all of our students, not just music majors. Those benefactors who support these efforts are making a contribution to the futures of engineers and educators, business people and forensic investigators. We’re thrilled to have this beautiful piano and look forward to its long life at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.”

Those who are interested in donating to the fund may fill out a pledge card after the performance or call Stacia Stephenson, development officer in the UW-Platteville Foundation, at (608) 342-6122.

Those who donate to the Steinway Fund will have their names etched on colored tiles that will be artistically and aesthetically incorporated into a sculpture – a six-foot-wide interpretation of a keyboard – designed and created by Bruce Howdle, art lecturer at UW-Platteville, who has been commissioned by the university to create the piece for the Center for the Arts.

UW-Platteville students have also been involved in the creation of a donor mural for the sculpture.

“I wanted students to be involved in the making and designing of this important work,” said Howdle. The donor mural includes drawings of Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Sergei Rachmaninov, all prominent pianists, created by Robert Jinkins, a senior fine art major from Rewey, Wis. A collage of piano sheet music will frame the portraits. John O’Sullivan, a senior business administration major at UW-Platteville from Stewartville, Minn., did the mural’s printing, firing and assembling.


Contact: David Cooper, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1021, cooperd@uwplatt.edu
Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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