WCU to host debut performance of newest addition to School of Music

The Western Carolina University School of Music will host the debut appearance of the newest star to join its roster of acclaimed music-makers in a special concert Tuesday, Feb. 15.

The star in question is a recently obtained instrument made by acclaimed manufacturer Steinway & Sons, widely regarded for crafting the finest pianos in the world. The nine-foot “D” concert grand piano is replacing an older Steinway model that has been providing musical accompaniment for music faculty, student and ensemble recitals for the past 34 years.

In fact, the new Steinway is the first new piano of any kind for the School of Music in more than 23 years, said P. Bradley Ulrich, professor of music.

The concert, to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of WCU’s Coulter Building, will launch an effort by the School of Music to earn designation as an “All-Steinway School,” said Ulrich, one of the concert organizers.

“We are hoping this will be the first of many new pianos in the School of Music as we hope to someday become the first ‘All-Steinway School’ in the University of North Carolina system. This would truly be a mark of distinction,” said Ulrich.

As the name implies, institutions are designated as All-Steinway Schools for using only pianos designed by Steinway & Sons, from the practice room to the recital hall. For WCU, the designation would entail replacing approximately 50 pianos with Steinways or models from the Steinway line.

The Feb. 15 concert, titled “Steinway Our Way,” will feature a variety of musical styles with WCU faculty pianists Andrew Adams, Bradley Martin and Pavel Wlosok as soloists and in combination with instrumental and vocal faculty members.

“The concert will showcase the various sounds the piano is capable of creating, in addition to sounds created in combination with other instruments,” Ulrich said. “This will be an exciting night for our school and we hope many from the community will attend and hear our newest addition to our musical family.”

At the conclusion of the concert, audience members will be encouraged to come to the stage to view the new instrument and ask questions of faculty members.

Tickets for the event are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. Proceeds will benefit the Steinway Piano Fund and help the School of Music in its goal of becoming an All-Steinway School, said Robert Kehrberg, dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts.

“Our faculty and students provide more than 250 cultural events annually through concerts, master classes and engagement activities within the communities they serve, and they deserve the finest instrument available,” Kehrberg said. “The faculty have international professional credentials and work as performing artists within the region, across the state and nationally. They are the finest musicians I have ever worked with.”

For information on tickets, call 828-227-2479.