All-Steinway concert and awarding to be held October 20
By Lauren A. Kwedar
Waxahachie, TX – October 18, 2011 – Casey D. Saliba, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Steinway Hall – Dallas/Fort Worth/Plano, confirmed today that Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas, has joined an exclusive group of only 135 prestigious colleges, universities, and conservatories worldwide that hold the title of All-Steinway School. School leadership, professors, students, donors, and Steinway & Sons executives will join guests at SAGU on Thursday, October 20, 2011, for a full day of activities to commemorate the occasion.
“We are honored to have been working with SAGU to achieve this distinction. All-Steinway Schools demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best pianos possible for the study of music,” said Mr. Saliba. “The instruments – from the practice room to the recital hall – are designed by Steinway & Sons.”
SAGU is the first Assemblies of God institution of higher learning to earn this status. A private Bible-based college founded in 1927, SAGU focuses on theological and professional studies and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees. It is a part of the General Council of the Assemblies of God.
“As we prepare undergraduate and graduate students to successfully fill evangelistic, missionary and church ministry roles, we further our mission of quality education by providing students with the best musical instruments available,” said Linda Robins, chair of the Department of Music at the university. “The University took a very responsible approach in funding the All-Steinway project, and in only three years, we have 19 Steinway and Boston pianos on our campus.”
The University of Arkansas, Oklahoma State University, Curtis Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, and Texas Christian University are just a few of the other illustrious institutions on the roster.
As SAGU continues to grow and expand its curriculum, the Music Department will become an even greater draw for a high caliber of aspiring professionals who seek new or expanded careers in education, performance, and music ministry, according to the University. Next on the schedule is construction of a planned World Communication Center at SAGU that will house music, drama, and media studies. The center’s 700-seat auditorium will be the first of its kind in Waxahachie. Groundbreaking should take place spring, 2012.
Importantly, according to Ms. Robins, who has been with the school for over 22 years, SAGU is leading the way in reviving the voice of acoustic music experiences in churches across the country.
“Pianos have become silent in too many worship settings,” she said. “With SAGU’s quality programs and excellent instruments, we expect to send outstanding professionals into communities who can once again experience the joy of live music in their churches, preserving quality and culture for this century and beyond.”
The pianos at SAGU fill practice rooms and performances spaces. Technicians maintain the instruments to assure a constant level of excellence for the students.
“We are all extremely thankful for the many donors who have been so generous,” she continued.
That gratitude will be expressed during a series of events for donors, guests, students, and friends on Thursday, October 20, 2011, at the school. On the agenda is a 9:30 a.m. opening program in the University’s chapel featuring the award-winning SAGU jazz ensemble and a performance by Steinway Artist Don Irwin at the piano. This program is free and open to the public.
Inspired by a visit at age 14 to Willie Nelson’s recording studio, Mr. Irwin studied at University of Texas at Austin, The University of Tulsa and University of Illinois before becoming a recording studio musician and recording artist with 21 CDs to his credit. He has toured Europe, was a guest performer at the Cannes Music Festival, has made television appearances and produced and appeared in two music videos for the South African government. In 1998, Steinway invited Irwin to join its international roster of registered Steinway Artists. Mr. Irwin is the son of two SAGU graduates; his parents met at the school. His appearance is a fitting tribute.
An invitation-only luncheon will follow his performance at 11:00 a.m. In addition to several guest speakers, Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons – Americas, will fly to Waxahachie from New York to offer personal congratulations to SAGU on becoming an All-Steinway School.
About Steinway Hall – Dallas/Fort Worth/Plano
Steinway Hall – Dallas/Fort Worth/Plano, established in 1992, is an exclusive, authorized, independently owned and operated Steinway & Sons piano dealer. With three showroom locations, Steinway Hall – Dallas/Fort Worth/Plano represents The Family of Steinway Designed Pianos, including Steinway & Sons, Boston, and Essex pianos. They are on the web at www.steinwaypianos.com.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU. Find out more about the SAGU All-Steinway initiative at http://sagu.steinwaydfw.org/.