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KNOXVILLE — It’s been said that a musician is only as good as his or her instrument. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s School of Music is working to provide its students with the finest pianos in the industry made by Steinway & Sons. The goal to raise more than $3.5 million to become an All-Steinway School was announced Monday during an on-campus event with university and Steinway representatives, along with donors and friends of the university.

“Becoming an All-Steinway School is an important goal for the university,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “Achieving this goal will transform our recruiting efforts for students and will enrich the music facilities throughout our campus. Access to these beautiful instruments will allow our students to fully realize their artistic talents.”

To receive All-Steinway School status, at least 90 percent of an institution’s pianos must be Steinway-designed pianos. The university must purchase a minimum of sixty-one pianos including upright pianos and concert grand pianos from six to nine feet in length.

To date, more than $840,000 has been raised which has funded one Steinway Hamburg nine-foot concert grand piano and three Steinway Hamburg seven-foot grand pianos.

“The product of our school is our students,” said Jim Powell, a UT alumnus and supporter of the Steinway initiative. “With the investment of these pianos, we will have more and more of these talented kids,” he said, referring to two School of Music students who performed during the Steinway announcement.

“Partnering with a company like Steinway opens doors for our students that otherwise might not be possible,” said Angela Batey, interim director for the School of Music. “Becoming an All-Steinway School places UT’s School of Music in a position to offer our students the very best training and learning experiences.”

The pianos will fill the new Natalie L. Haslam Music Center scheduled for completion in 2013. Two Steinways also will replace pianos in the Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center. Steinway & Sons will work with UT to manage instrument inventory and create a customized service plan for care of the pianos.

Internationally, more than 120 universities, conservatories, and schools are classified as All-Steinway Schools, including the Oberlin Conservatory, the Cincinnati Conservatory, and the Cleveland Institute. Several Southeastern Conference schools bear the classification as well as several Tennessee colleges.

The Natalie L. Haslam Music Center will be a 123,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that will include the 400-seat Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, music library, dedicated rehearsal facilities for band, choral, opera, and orchestra programs, computer labs, a recording studio, forty performance studios/offices, and a variety of technology-enhanced practice and rehearsal rooms.

In 2006, Natalie and Jim Haslam, co-chairs for the Campaign for Tennessee, and the Haslam Family Foundation gave the University of Tennessee $32.5 million. The largest allotment of this money, $10 million, went to the UT School of Music, which dedicated the funds for the construction of a new facility.

To find out more about supporting UT’s All-Steinway School Initiative, contact Cathy Dodge at 865-974-2365 or Susan Hyde at 865-974-3156.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008,